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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Lows, Lous, v.1 Also: lowse, louse, lousse, lovs(e, lowis, -ise, -ys, -es, louise, laws. P.t. and p.p. lows-, lousit, -ed, etc., lowsd, loust, lowisd. [ME. (midland and north.) leowsin (13th c.), lowse, louse, also (? chiefly midland) lawse, laus(e, lauce, e.m.E. lowse, louse, f. Lows a. Cf. also Los v.2 (and ON. leysa f. lauss Lows a., which largely coincides in sense).Senses 6, 7, and 12–15 below are appar. only Sc.] To loose, loosen.

1. tr. To release from bonds or restraint; to let loose, set free, set at liberty, liberate; to unbind (a person); to untether or otherwise unfasten (an animal). Also absol.Also with adv. or adv. phrase complements, and, of a pregnant woman, to be lowsit of hir bandis, to be delivered.Also reflex. (and fig.), to deliver oneself.(1) 1375 Barb. x. 765.
Thai broucht hym to the erll in hy And he gert lows hym hastely
a1400 Leg. S. iv. 84.
And thame that ar in feteris stad He lousis oft and makis glad
Ib. iii. 748, ix. 104, etc. c1400 Troy-bk. i. 585.
All the planettes … As He thame maid … To kepe thar kindely course at rytht, He may thame louse & lete go by, For he is endles almythty
Ib. ii. 1717.
[The winds] Loussed [L. relaxati] and sende frome Eolus, Ourtirvis the depe se in wallis
c1420 Wynt. vii. 3159.
Lowsyd, lous(s)it
1444 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 10. c1475 Wall. vii. 1220, etc. a1500 Henr. Fab. 1550, etc. 1490 Irland Mir. I. 121/1. ?a1500 Remembr. Passion 57.
O Lord Iesu, that tholit thy handis tobe bundin, lous the handis of my synnis
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 679. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xlii. 56. c1515 Asl. MS. I. 215/20. c1520-c1535 Nisbet Mark xi. 2, 4, 5. 1533 Bell. Livy II. 163/5. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1498. 1551 Hamilton Cat. 283.
The saulis departit ar lowsit [L. solvuntur] foure maner of wais, oder be oblatiouns of preistis [etc.]
15.. Wyf Awcht. 45.
Scho lowsit oxin aucht or nyne
15.. Clar. ii. 1584, v. 662. c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii. 244.
At his plesure he [Alexander] micht louse or ransoun Quhairsumeuer he war or quhat degre
Id. Seven S. 1726.
This grewhound was sa swift … , Quhen he was lousit, his pray he gart ay bleid
1567 Inverness Rec. I. 148.
The best of his oxin hes pereist … he being fast on the saile, na bodye in the house to louse nor releiff the said oxe being worreyt on the saile
1571 Sat. P. xxvi. 21.
Syne efter that, quhen lymmers loust their bryde, He faucht for ȝow vpon the Langsyde hill
c1575 Balfour Pract. 271.
That he … enter his persoun … in ward … thair to remane … quhill he be lousit be the Kingis grace
1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 131. 1579, 1617 Despauter (1579) 135; 1595 Duncan App. Etym. s.v. Solvo. 1581 Burne Disput. 135.
His kingdome vil be at the heicht quhen the deuil sal be loused
1583 Sat. P. xlv. 350. a1605 Montg. Flyt. 483 (H).
Lowsse
c 1590 Fraser Wigtown (1877) 392.
[He] said that we … loussit our ky in the nicht and callit them into thair beir
1600-1610 Melvill 143. 1638 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 185.
If they be readie to cry out with Bishop Adamsone, ‘Lowse them, lowse them’
c1650 Spalding I. 212. a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 417. 1664 Cullen Kirk S. July 10.
That they heard the said Janet call Helen … excomunicate witch, that she hade the devill one a chaine & could louse him when she pleased
1676 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 219.absol. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 294.
Girne when ye knit, and lauch when ye louse
(2) a1400 Leg. S. iii. 736.
With lyff I sall nocht be Of this croice lousyt
Ib. 792.
Scho … lousit hym doun of the tre
Ib. vii. 777.
To louse his body fra the tre
Ib. ix. 229. c1420 Wynt. i. 590.
That … thai micht be Owt of that presoun lowsyd fre
Ib. v. 1038. a1500 Henr. III. 99/84. c1475 Wall. vi. 483. 1497 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 60.
And nocht to be lousit out of the golf quhile the saide hour
c1515 Asl. MS. I. 219/24; 1570 Leslie 19.
Jane … was the duke of Somersydis douchter that King James the first spousit in Yngland for till help to lous him furth of it
c1500-c1512 Dunb. x. 22.
[To] lous ȝow of the feindis arrest
1513 Doug. ii. iii. 17. a1568 Bann. MS. 39 a/58.
Lowis
1546 Lynd. Trag. Card. 153.
Lyke ane lyone lowsit of his caige
1567 G. Ball. 159. a1578 Pitsc. II. 8/17. 1596 Dalr. II. 352/26. 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 93.
Thow immediatle thairefter awytit on the cow quhill schow was lowsit furth and keist witchecraft on the said cow
1650 Brechin Presb. 23.
Within less nor ane yeir … they had a kow … loused out of the byr and calved in the corne yeard
1674 Arbroath Old Doc. 12.
[He] did … louse out the horses and take away the cairtgraith
(3) 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 92.
Scho culd newir be lowsit of hir bandis quhill scho send for thé and causit thé cum to hir
(4) refl. a1578 Pitsc. I. 135/24.
The haill nobilietie … wexit with the tyrannie of King Henrie, to louse them selffis out of the ȝoke of thraldome hes taine porpois [etc.]

b. To release or set free (the soul from the body or mortal life). a1400 Leg. S. xxvii. 1516.]
[Gud thing it is to me To be lousit & with hyme be
1513 Doug. iv. xii. 102.
The throwand sawle to lowys
Ib. 118.
I man … lowis thi sawle out of this mortale stait
1533 Gau 24/22.
Quhil we be lowsit of this mortal body
a1599 Rollock Wks. I. 430.
Or ellis thy saull sall be rugged out of thy bodie … .Wald thou haue it sweitlie lowsed?

c. To free (a person's lips, tongue, voice) from constraint, so as to enable him to speak out freely. 1513 Doug. xi. iv. 28.
With gret difficulte The cundytis of his voce war lowsyt fre
a1568 Scott xxxvi. 61.
Lowse thow my lippis, that … I may gif to Thé lovingis wyd
1567 G. Ball. 127. 1623 Crim. Trials II. 537.
Eftir prayeris maid to God to oppin hir hairt and louse hir toung to confes the treuth
1611-57 Mure Crucifixe 2283.
Now doe the wicked louse their tongues to lyes

d. To unbind, to remove a constriction from; to undo (braided hair) from the tress; to allow or cause (something constricted) to open out. e. intr. To cease to be constricted, to go free. a1400 Leg. S. vii. 632.
[A paralytic's] senownys that drawyn ware To-gyddyre, lousyt rycht thare
1513 Doug. i. vi. 26.
As scho had bene a wild hunteres With wynd waving hir haris lowsit of tres
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xv. 18.
That flour [the solsequium] laughis on Phœbus lousing out his leivis
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I. 105.
That quhen the foullis flaw to the rouste ower him, he mycht resaue the wind of thair wingis aboute his harte, for that wes werrie profitable to lousse his harte pypis, quhilk wer closit

2. fig. To release, set free, relieve, absolve, acquit, from pain, punishment, sin, obligation, servitude, or other immaterial constraint. Cf. sense 12.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 985.
Syndry seke mene gettis thare hele & are lousit of mekil payne
c1420 Wynt. v. 2873.
And all in presowne to be fre Lowsyd qwyte off thare pennans
Ib. 3791.
That he wald lows hym off hys syne And bandys that he was cumbryd in He made hym … prayere
Ib. viii. 7104.
Of the Kyng of France to be Lowsyt off homage and fewte
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 749.
Ded … come now into tyme Him for to lous fra his gret wa and pyne
1513 Doug. iv. ix. 30.
This woman hechtis … From luffis bandis to lows al thar ententis Quham so hir lyst
a1538 Abell 9 a.
At the Lacedemonys suld nocht trow that thai war lowsit fra thare aith be ganbringing of his banis
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 266. c1705 Nimmo Narr. 34.
I … fund my heart much loused from all the pleasures of time
1675 Alford Rec. 234.
[The minister should] suggest unto them [sc. the sick] what is proper for lousing their affectiones from the world
1684 Law Memor. (1818) 108.
He being excommunicat, was desirous the minister should louse him fra that sentence
(2) 14.. Reg. Maj. xliv. (Adv. MS. 25. 4. 15, fol. 15 b).
& gif it be fundyn be an assise that he is a fre mane than sal he be lousyt fra the party askand for euermar
(3) ?a1500 Remembr. Passion 59.
Bind me sa with the band of cherite … that my wittis be neuer lousit to na contraryis to thy will
1567 G. Ball. 220.
I pray thé, Lord, … Louse me or I be for 1011
1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. 208.
The prophete sayes that Christ lawsit thame in the bluid of his Testament

b. To release or dismiss (a workman etc.) at the end of a turn of work, to cause to knock off. (Cf. 7 c).Also passive, to be lousit, to be dismissed for the day, to have knocked off (but cf. 7 c). 1622 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II. 144.
To Jerome Murray for ringing the bell and keiping the sandglas to entir and lowse the maissounes at thair houres
Ib. 217. 1660 Lanark B. Rec. 177.
That no persone within this burgh, fra once the hird be enterit till he be lousit, putt out any louse horse or nolt to the muir bot put them to the hirdes

c. To release (a minister) from his charge. 1653 Dalkeith Presb. in Butler Life Leighton 239.
[Leighton] desyred to be loused from his charge
Ib. 240.
The Councell of Edinburgh … conclude that the said Mr Robert Lichton shall be lowsed, and by thir presents doe actually lowse him from his ministrie … declaring the kirk … to be vacant
1664 Stirling B. Rec. I. 246.
To … deall with … any … haveing power to lowse and transport the said maister Matthias that they … continow him in the ministrie at this burgh

3. To undo, unfasten, untie, loosen (anything which fastens, as a knot, a bond or fetters, a garment or its fastenings, etc.).Also with complements. To lous of (= from), to unfasten (and remove) from. To lous off, to take off = sense b. To lous doun, to let down (trousers or a part of them) by undoing the fastening(s).(1) a1400 Leg. S. xix. 510.
Thai … lousit thare beltis spedly & put thame sone a-bowt the hals Of thai maumentis
c1450-2 Howlat 606.
Thir four scheldis … War chenȝeit so cheualrus that no creatur Of lokis nor lynx mycht lous worth a lence
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 651.
[Alexander] Gart lous his [Bucephal's] fetteris and furth he him led
1494 Loutfut MS. 113 a.
The ta partii beand discomfit … his harnes sal nocht be lousit bot … cuttit of him
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 501.
Lunatike, lymare, luschbald, louse thy hose, That I may touch thy tone wyth tribulation
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxxviii. 36. 1513 Doug. iii. iv. 110.
Do lows the rabandis and lat down the saill
Ib. vii. vi. 142.
All Latyn wyfis, … Lows hed bandis, schake down ȝour haris all
a1568 Scott iv. 42.
It settis not madynis als To latt men lowis thair laice
a1578 Pitsc. I. 324/25.
The King … past to his chamber and loussit his claithis and maid him to his bede
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 398. 1607 Crim. Trials II. 532. 1638 Henderson Serm. 50.
Like pearls upon a thread, louse but the knot of the thread & let the end go louse & incontinent they will all fall aff
Ib. 309. 1611-57 Mure Ps. cv. 20. c1650 Spalding I. 53. Ib. 268.
The schakles was lovsit, but [etc.]
(2) 1513 Doug. ii. iii. 3.
And first of all, the mannykillis and hard bandis Chargit he lows of this ilk manis handis
Ib. iii. vi. 34.
Helenus than … lowsit the garlandis of his haly hed
1540 Lynd. Sat. 3981.
Lowis doun my hois
a1578 Pitsc. II. 84/1.
Ane callit Guthrie loussit done his ballope poynt and pischit in his mouth
a1605 Montg. Flyt. 342 (see Lingal n.).

b. To unfasten and detach, to take off or away, to cast loose. c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 592.
Quhan he was the closer enterit in Thay lousit the musell that closit was with a gin
c1475 Wall. vii. 1160.
To lous the pyne quhen Wallace leit him witt
1600-1610 Melvill 142.
Lowsing a litle Hebrew byble fra his belt and clanking it down on the burd
1657 Balfour Ann. IV. 400.
The Lord Chamberlaine [did] lousse the Kinges suord quherwith by the Constable he was girt

c. In fig. contexts. c1490 Porteous of Noblenes 125 (Ch. & M.).
Thay are noblis that … defendis thair lorde noght lousande the right knot of thair faith
a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 1234.
Syne to the croce a lang ledder thai june, Of that hurde to lows the lokis strang
c1520-c1535 Nisbet III. 320/25.
The Haly Gaist enteris in our hartis ande lowsis the bandis of the dewill
Id. Mark vii. 35.
The band of his tung was lowset and he spak richtly
1551 Hamilton Cat. 236.
Sumtyme a man haffand displesure at his wife wald geve to hir a libel of partising and put hir fra him and lowse the band of matrimonye
a1568 Bann. MS. 257 a/7.
The knot that I wend had bene knit Of … faithfulnes for ay I se it lowisd
1562 Crim. Trials I. i. 460.
We … devorceis the saidis persones … frome the holie band of mareage, from hencefurth dissoluit, relaxit and lowsit
c1590 Fowler I. 211. lxxv. 13. c1616 Hume Orthog. 9.
Of the next, i. we differ farder, and the knot harder to louse, for nether syde wantes sum reason
1668 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. II. 672. 1669 Laing MSS. I. 375.
And now Lord if it be thy will to shaik and dissolve this church government louse wee pray the pins of it softly
1680 Aberd. Council Lett. VI. 255.
That were … to undoe all ye had made so much work for, … and were it once loused it will not be easilie fixed againe

d. intr. To come unfastened. a1400 Leg. S. xxxi. 853.
In the riuere quhen scho Wes castine, mony gowand to, Hyr band lousit but delay, & the gret mylstan fel away

4. tr. (also b. intr.) To disintegrate, dissolve into fragments. c1400 Troy-bk. i. 567.
Owthir ane tholis God of nature Or ellis now within this houre The mekile engyne shall lowsit be [L. dissoluetur] Of all this warld, as men may se
c1420 Wynt. iv. 980.
And wyntyr weddrys felle and grete Lowsyd all his bryg [sc. of ships] off threte
a1599 Rollock Wks. I. 303.
Deith is the dissolution of the body, … quhilk it lousis into powder
Ib.
It lyis not in the handis of deith to wrack the thing it dissolvis: it may weill louse it and cast it sundrie, bot it cannot destroy it
b. a1400 Leg. S. xlv. 234.
Til the fals ydol don can fal & in poudre lousyt al smal

c. fig. To dissolve or cancel, also, to break (a contract, obligation or the like). See also sense 13.Used either impersonally or of a personal agent. 14.. Reg. Maj. xxxviii (Adv.MS. 25. 4. 15, fol. 14b).
The balȝe may be freyndfull componicone desolu & lous thingis that ar doutful betwene ony partis
Ib. xliii (MS. id., fol. 15).
Arbutre is endyt and lowsyt throw the ded of the partis or throw the ded of the arbitouris gif the day of the arbutre be by passyt
1456 Hay I. 147/24.
Sen the knycht in his default has lousit that obligacioun, the King is free [etc.]
Ib. 149/4.
The necessitee, nature and cheritee lousis my band to ȝow, nocht brekand my leautee
Ib. /24.
Considerand the jurement of the man of armes that may nocht lous his faith
a1658 Durham Comm. Rev. 414.
This [Christ's intercession] would be to the believer the last refuge and, whatever come, it is never to be loused or reteired from

d. To dispel, abolish (the effects of witchcraft). e. To terminate (a state of captivity) by setting free the captives. f. To raise a siege (as a lit. rendering of L. obsidionem solvere). a1400 Leg. S. xliv. 275.
Thane ves it tald … That wischcrafte & inchaunment Vith nettyng mocht be lousit sone [L. quod lotio fugarentur maleficia]
a1538 Abell 12 b.
Ciyr lowsit the captiuitie of the Jowes
1596 Dalr. II. 405/4.
Tha … denyet to lous the seige [L. obsidionem soluturos] ony way afor tha the toun had won

g. intr. Of snowy or wintry weather or of lying snow and frost: ? To break up, come to an end with the thaw. 1533 Boece xi. xxi. 452.
Quhen the storme loussit at spring of the ȝere [L. aquis hyemali gelu concretis tepore verno solutis]

5. In fig. uses of previous senses, set in contrast with bind, espec. in the phr. to bind and lous and freq. with allusion to Matth. xvi. 19, xviii. 18. Also absol.See also Bind v. 1 c. a1400 Leg. S. i. 18.
To bind and lous quhowm-euer thou will
c1409-1436 Kingis Q. xxxix. a1497, 15.. Gray MS. iv. 125. 1533 Gau 59/26. Ib. 80/31.
Our Lord hes giffine the keyis to chrissine men to lows sinnis
Ib. 59/30.
Quhat ȝe lous apone the ȝeird it sal be lous in the heuine
Ib. 61/19. c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4350.
[The Pope] That spiritually may louse and bynd
Ib. 4355. 1551 Hamilton Cat. 173. 1558-66 Knox I. 8. 1567 G. Ball. 21.
To God on hicht be louing maist Quhilk lousis sin allanerlie
Ib. 7, 192. a1568 Bann. MS. 246 a/9.
Thair is no ransoun may me lows nor bynd
1571 Misc. Spald. C. IV. 94.
To thame [sc. ministers] is giffin the keyis of the kingdome of hewin, to oppin, to steik, to bind, to lous [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. II. 68/24. 1581 Cath. Tr. 121/5. 1600 Hamilton Facile Tr. 263. 1622-6 Bisset II. 281/8.
[Christ] ordaned bischopis [etc.] … to … bind, lowse and judge of doctrines
?1665 M. Bruce Six Dreadfull Alarms 19.
When the spirit binds, I dar not loyse

6. To undo the fastenings of, to open up, ‘dip into’ (a purse, bag, sack, coffer); to unpack the contents of (a chest).(Of some motive etc.) to lows and bynd one's purs, to control or dictate one's spending. To louse the box, bagis, one's purse, to open up or dip into one's coffers or purse, to pay up.(1) a1500 Bernardus 94.
Bot wrang jugment thow geffys and sentence blynde Geff auarice thi purs sal lows and bynde
1540 Lynd. Sat. 2232.
Now lowis thy purs and lay doun thy offrand
1584 Sempill Sat. P. xlv. 227.
He pat him off with mowis and mockis And had no will to louse the boxe
Ib. 239.
The lymmer feiring lyfe and leving He saw na bute but bagis to louse [: in mowis]
1667 Argyll-Lauderdale Lett. 71.
If I could get him to louse his purse upone my land, when mony is so scarse
(2) 1568 Inverness Rec. I. 172.
That … Marioun Clerk lowsit the foirsaid sek of Thom Stewartis bundin wyth the raipe of stray
1667 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 32.
The girsters horsemen … [not to]be suffered to lows their secks and give malt to their horses … and if they be lowsed that the millers delate it to the taxmen or girsters that have their secks lowsed
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 350.
The report … was that a packman carrying a box chest of flax … that came from Holland, this being opened and loused, the pest spread

7. To detach the team from (a plough); in passive, (of the plough) to have its team detached.a. To put (another's plough) out of action in this way; in fig. context, to put a stop to some activity. b. To lay aside (one's own plough), to cease ploughing at the end of a spell or a day's work; in fig. context, to cease from some activity. Also absol. or intr.a. 1522 Fife Sheriff Ct. 262.
That the said Adame Lyndesay wranguisly … lousyt thar pleuchis in tym of thar laubouris in contrare the statutis of the realme
1584 Reg. Privy C. III. 730.
[They] lousit his said pleuch, cheissit the oxin being in the samin [etc.]
fig. a1538 Abell 70 b.
Thairfoir pray all prelatis spirituall and temporall to lows the pleuch of thare jakmen, that is the cartis and dis
1682 Peden Lords Trumpet 29.
The Lord is about to … louse their plough that is plowing deep in our Lords aikers in Scotland
b (1) 15.. Wyf Awcht. 9.
He lowsit the pluche at the landis end And draif his oxin hame at evin
Ib. 102. 1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I. 113.
Henrie Smart being him self with his servand … gangand with his plewis, ane quarter hour or thei suld hef bene lowsit, thow com in thair way [etc.]
1684 Law Memor. 6.(2) fig. 1638 Henderson Serm. 278.
And if we make not better use of the gospel every way, the pleugh sall not be loused yet, but the Lord sall suffer the enemies to hold it going
(3) absol. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2246.
Syne efter thay lousit, fra that it worthit weill lait
fig. 1638 Henderson Serm. 276.
The pleugh … being yoked cannot enter to gang whill He direct … .When He thinks it time to louse then … He cuts their cords so that they cannot go once about after He thinks time to louse

c. intr. Generalised: To finish work (of any kind), to knock off. (Cf. also 2 b). 1673 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. MS. 7 July.
Ordered for the … perfyteing of the mending the hie wayes to the north march in the muire That ilk halffe quarter as they are alreadie devyded shall enter at seven and louse at twelffe and the uther halffe enter at on efternoon and louse at sex

8. a. tr. To cast off (a ship) before setting sail.Hence, to sail or take (a ship) out of harbour, forth. — 1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. vi. 1.
Classique immittit habenas, he louses the schippis and lanches into the sea
1590 Welwod 53.
The duetie of the master is, befoir he lowse his schip out of the harbery, to haif the consent of the maist part of the kippage
Ib.
Without ane skilled pilot lowse forth the ship he sall be haldin for all that perishit with hir

b. absol. To cast off and set sail. c. intr. Said of the ship.b. 1563 Grant Chart. 129.
Gyf onye … skippar … sall tak vpon hand … to laidin his schip or boytt and lowis fray shoyr
c1575 Balfour Pract. 638.
We will that the masteris … bring the … schippis … to the partis fra quhilk thay lousit
1596 Dalr. II. 198/2.
Quhen he was shipit, and louset with a fayr tyd, a prosperous veyage he fand
Ib. 314/6.
Bot the Inglis nauie … , afor thay loused, sum knotis of men of weir war sent to spoylȝie Fife
Ib. 280/7, 311/8, etc. 1610 Edinb. B. Rec. VI. 345. 1610 Crim. Trials III. 100.
Ȝe, … , notorious pirattis … lowsed af Ireland, in this schip callit the Preame
Ib. 101. 1649 Lamont Diary 2.c. 1573 Reg. Privy C. II. 253.
The said complenar dissassentit that the said bolt sould lowise furth of the havin of Brint Iland
1615 Crim. Trials III. iii.
Vpon the morne, both shippes louse and come togidder the space of foure myles, … and when they sindered [etc.]
1642 Kirkcaldy Presb. 225.
[That] no schipps … that sallbe in saife harbours sall louse or transport themselfs ellswhere, bot sall rest the sabbath
1642 Aberd. Council Lett. II. 312. 1643 Edinb. B. Rec. VIII. 25. c1650 Spalding I. 296. 1687 Brown Diary 47.

d. tr. To weigh (anchor). 1596 Dalr. II. 307/8.
At his departeng the Frenche shipis beginis to lous thair anker and stryk sail at Bristoo
Ib. 333/13.
Quhen the men of weir had loused anker
1646 S. Leith Rec. 75.

9. To discharge, let fly, shoot (a missile, a shot, etc.), also to lows of (= off). Also fig. c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 178.
A cloud of arowis as hayle schour lousit thay
Id. xxvii. 85.
He lowsit it of with sic a reird, Baith hors and man he straik till eird, He fartit with sic ane feir
1533 Boece xi. xii. 430.
The bent croce bowis lowssit the ganeȝeis
15.. Christis K. 112 (B).
A ȝaip ȝung man … Lowsd of a schot with yre
1581-1623 James VI Poems I. 159/433.
Euen as the diabete doth by the contraire louse at last The creische of all oure boddie in the urine seething fast
?a1648 Polemo-Mid. 143.
Disjuniumque omnem evomuit valde hungrius homo Lausavitque supra & infra, miserabile visu
1677 4th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 534/1.
[He gathered his friends and … ] loused severall shotts [against Inverey's party]
fig. a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 28.
Ramowd rebald thow fall doun att the roist, My laureat lettres at thé and I lowis [: skrowis, mowis, rowis]

10. tr. To loosen in its seating so that it is no longer a fixture, to make insecure in position.Also, to loosen from the body to which it is attached. 1375 Barb. vi. 252 (E).
A gret stane … That … Wes lowsyt redy for to fall
1513 Doug. viii. iv. 122.
From the rutis he it [the rock] lowsyt and rent
1637 Banff Ann. I. 77.
Thou brak and lousit ane stenseoune of his buithe window
1638 Henderson Serm. 156.
There was not one stone fallen nor loused
1686 Inverness Rec. II. 340.
The pleugh waked and lowsed the march stone
1693 Argyll Justic. Rec. I. 149.
The strokes were so violent that it loused the stock from the gunn

b. intr. To become insecure or loosened in position. 1644 Shetland Witch Trial in Hibbert Shetland Islands (1822) 595.
He … stepping upon a stone which was ever a sure step befoir, ye … be your said … art of witchcraft maid the said stone to lows and fall down with him

11. To slacken, make less tight. a. To allow to go loose (a bridle, reins). fig., To lous a brydle or reinȝies to, to give free rein to. 1596 Dalr. I. 152/9.
He sett out sum leicherous lawis, that his flagitious gaird … mycht haue occasione frilie to louse a brydle to al thair appetites
Ib. 289/21.
[He] louset a brydle to thame to vaig in … lust
a1634 Forbes Rec. 520.
The reinȝies loussed to all prophane persons and papists … to abuse the ministrie

b. To loosen or slacken (one's sinews or frame). lit. and fig. 1635 Dundonald Par. Rec. 399.
Leist any sould abuse this our exceptioune to louise the sinewis of the act above writtin
1688 Red Bk. Grandtully II. 290.
Beware of posting now after the bathes, which … has … opened your pores, and loused the whole frame of your body

c. To loosen (the bowels). 1618 Barclay Well 6.
This water … bindeth the belly of most part of drinkers, as … milke: For the croudy part bindeth some, and the serous or wheyish part louseth others
Ib.
This water … is very detersiue for the which quality it louseth the belly of some

d. intr. Of one's hands: To become loose, lose their grip. 1603 E. Melville Godlie Dreame 317.
My hands did shaik, that I him held withall. At lenth thay lousit, than they begouth to fall, I cryit O Lord, and caucht him fast againe

e. tr. To tease out (tow, old rope). 1622-6 Bisset II. 238/25.
That næ hardis of auld cordage salbe put in calfetting unles it be first weyed … , or it be lowsed out

12. To free (something or someone), by payment: cf. sense 2.

a. To free (lands, heritable property) from encumbrance, as of wadset or attachment for debt, by payment of the debt; to redeem (heritage).Also to louse (lands) fra (the wadsetter) or out. 1462 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 371.
That … I … sal notht sell anale no wedset ony landys of Drummvre … to lous the landis quhilkis I hafe wedset to the said Robert
1482–3 Acta Conc. II. cxxv.
That the sadis landis war lauchfully lowsit and redemit be the proffering of blak mone be the said James
1494 Ib. I. 361/2. 1496 Lennox Mun. 161.
How sone eftir the redemption, outqwytyng and lowsyng of thir forsaid landis … sua that the said landis of the town of Inchenan reman with me or myn assignais last wnredemyt or lowsit of the forsaidis landis … than I … sall … wpgeiff the said landis … likas thai be redemyt and lowsit fra me
1499–1500 Acta Conc. II. 349.
[The lands] to be broikit and joisit … as prisit landis for det, sa that gif thai be nocht lowsit within the space of vij yeris next tocum thai sal heretably remane with the sade Alexander
1497–8 Ib. 133, 1500 Ib. 437, etc.
Lowise
1506 Glasg. Dioc. Reg. II. 162. 1509 Reg. Privy S. I. 288/2. 1513 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 21. 1521 Maxwell Mem. I. 247. 1526 Reg. Panmure II. 302. 1527 Prot. Bk. J. Foular II. 239. 1528 Lennox Mun. 231. 1537 Glasgow Prot. IV. 102. 1542 Prot. Bk. W. Corbet (S.R.S.) 3. 1545 Glasgow Chart. II. 509. a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun 37. c1575 Balfour Pract. 57.
The pledge or cautioun sall have recours to the landis … and gif the air will not buy or louse thame out [etc.]
1620 Aboyne Rec. 255, 264. 1688 Irvine Deeds MS. (8 June).
The said lands … shall be in all tyme heireftir holden & repute dewly & lawfully redeemed loused & outquit be ws from them

b. To release (movable goods) by payment or by finding security, from arrestment or pawn; to redeem (anything confiscated or taken as a pledge).Also, To free (a bond) of the sum for which it has been pledged.(1) 1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin I. 147.
I … arrestit … and chargit … that na man … suld analy na tak away the said cornis … quhil the tyme the said cornis be lauchfully lowsit at the said schreff
1498 Acta Conc. II. 154.
For the wrangus postponyng … til lowis and redeme … of a cop and covir of silver owregilt and ane saltfat of silver … laid in wed
1500 Treas. Acc. II. 98. 1502 Ib. 347.
To Inglis Cuddy to lous his buttonis he tynt at the cartis
1504–5 Ib. III. 127. 1526 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 81. 1532 Ib. MS. 161 b (30 Apr.).
That James of Murray tuk nedder Jame Turnbull ky for borrowgait of Robert Turnbull and quhen Robert Turnbull send his oxin to lous James ky with the said James vauld nocht tak thaim
1541 Maxwell Mem. I. 285. 1565 Inverness Rec. I. 135. 1569 Edinb. Hammermen I. 8 b.
Quhatsumeuer persone … that beis poyndit … and lousis nocht the samin … in that cais it salbe lesum to the dekyn … to dispone thair vpon
1585 Ib. III. 38 b.
The dekyn … to lend to Thomas Ȝoung saidlar thre pundis to lows his geir fra Johnn Forrest, pest baillie
1584 Edinb. Test. XIII. 152.
I haif ane ring & ane pece of gold pertening to vmquhile Mr Alexander Roy quhilk lay me in plege & ar lousit bot not ressauit
c 1590 Fraser Wigtown (1877) 392.
They tuik in ane kow of myne not doand them skaithe … , bot vpoun maleice and contempt keipit hir in and vald not geif hir to lous for vod nor cautioun
1593 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 295. 1615 Highland P. III. 225.
I pray your lo. … lovse my mvntour fra Pettfindie for 48 lib.
Ib. 267.
I pray your lo. … try if I will gett my mounter and chister to lovse
1617 Orkney Sheriff Ct. in Misc. Maitl. C. II. 192. 1643 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 692.(2) 1496–7 Acta Conc. II. 65.
And gif the sadis reversions has bene lade in wed … he sal lowys thame of quhat soumes of money thai ly apone on the sade Robertis expensis

c. To obtain the withdrawal of (an arrestment on goods), by finding the required security. 1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 46.
Be ressoun that I mycht nocht cum to get souerte to lows the said arreistment becaus I haif bein under greit seiknes … this lang tyme bygane

d. To recover (a bond constituting a debt) by payment of the debt. To lowse owt. 1496 Acta Conc. II. 21.
Anent the accione … agane David Lindesay … for the wrangus postponyng … to redeme and lowse owt ane obligacione made be the sade umquhile Thomas to Wilȝeam lord Ruthven of the soume of xx li. the quhilk soume the sade David ressavit fra the saide Wilyeam

e. To obtain the release of (a prisoner) by payment. 1622-6 Bisset II. 262/3.
Gif there suld be als mekill of the first frie money that is gottin thereof gevin to louse the saidis presoneris

f. To obtain the release of (a hostage, by entering oneself in his place). 1576 Buccleuch Mun. II. 339.
The tyme appointit for the change of the plegeis now approcheand, we … directit sic as suld lowis the vtheris for thair brancheis now liand

13. To withdraw, revoke, remove, authoritatively, a. an arrestment made on goods, also const. from the goods, and absol., b. a recognition of, or legal interdiction on, heritable property, c. an act of a legislative body. (Cf. sense 4 c).a. 14.. Quon. Attach. ii in Adv. MS. 25. 4. 15.
& efter that don the arest of hym maid & his gudis sal be frely lowsyt & releschyt
1480 Acta Conc. I. 62/2.
Schir Johne has … lowsit and fred the arrest maid vpon the said Johns corn
1490 Ib. 142/2. 1501 Ib. III. 38.
Becaus the decisioun of the sadis cornis is nocht declarit quham to thai suld be lowsit, … that … the … schiref … ceis of the distrenyeing of the sade Symon … that it may be declarit quham to the arrestment of the sade cornis suld be lowsit
1534 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 68.
In presens of the prouest and baillies, Alexander Mowbray desyrit the arreistment maid vpoun vij polkis of woll to be lowsit and offerrit souertie till do thairfor as accordis vpoun the law
Ib.
The prouest ansuerit that he could nocht lowse the arreistment for sundry caussis
1536 Reg. Privy S. II. 296/2. 1538 Acta Conc. Public Aff. 471.
I beseik your l. … that ye will caus him to find cautioun … and gif me lettres to lowis the arreist maid apoun my schippis and gudis
1540 Edinb. Chart. 212. 1548 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 360. 1550 Reg. Privy C. I. 112. 1567 Ib. 531. c1575 Balfour Pract. 538. 1607 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II. 15. c1600 Pont Cunningham 7.
This countrey is … wnder the shriffdome of Air, and vnder the authority of the sheriffe theroffe, quhosse officer may lousse the arrestment made by the officer of the said baliffe
1641 Baillie I. 339.
He supplicat, that the lords might take course to louse that arriest from so much of his goods as might sustaine his wife and children
1667 Stitchill Baron Ct. 44.
Johne Guttraw is judicially decerned to louse that arreistment … and efter the arreistment is loused ordaine the said Robert Lillie to pay to the said Johne Guttraw the agreed pryce … with all possible diligence efter the lousing of the said arreistment
1670 Edinb. B. Rec. X. 72. 1671 Corshill Baron Ct. 96.1674 Ib. 117.absol. 1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I. 237.
Givis powar to the said wattir serjand to mak arreistmentis, bot not to lows bot be command of ane of the baillies
b. 1496 Acta Conc. II. 29.
That the sade recognicione [of the fishing] be nocht lowsit quhil the sade inquisicione be sene and considerit be the Kingis hienes
1498 Ib. 230.
The Lordis of Consale … consalis the Kingis hienes til lowis the recognicione made apone the landis of Dempstertoune
c1575 Balfour Pract. 187.
Interdictioun … may be lowsit and relaxit for ane ressonabill cause, at the discretioun of a judge aither in haill or in part thairof; the samin interdictioun nevertheles standand unlousit anent the remanent punctis contenit thairintill
Ib. 487. a1633 Hope Major Pract. I. 133.c. 1657 Peebles B. Rec. II. 42.
The counsell … louses the formar act wher it is enacted that the hous mailles pay foure pennies for ilk pound

14. To obtain or receive delivery of and pay for; to get, procure (usually by payment and chiefly for (to) another, as his agent); to purchase.Also const. fra the seller or supplier.The localized examples are all southern. 1473 Treas. Acc. I. 48.
To Dauid Quhytehede and Thome of Stanly … for Doctour Andres dispensacione lousyt be thaim in Bruges xvj li.
1497 Halyb. 125.
Quhen we com to Medylburgh lowssit hym 3270 irne
1498 Ib. 149, 160, 169. 1498 Acta Conc. II. 148, 206, 255. 1500–1 Ib. 491.
Quhilk gert him lowis certane walx, spicis, and saiffrone in the toune of Elgin extending til the soume of ix merkis
1502–3 Treas. Acc. II. 357.
To pay for Johne of Ilis … berying and to lous his gere
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 362.
I leit him be my lumbart to lous me all misteris [M. to lous all my misteris]
1535 Treas. Acc. VI. 263.
To the droiche to lows his claithis fra the tailȝeouris
1572 Bk. Univ. Kirk I. 266.
That sick ministers as hes not quherwith to buy bookes, may have bookes lousit to them be the collectour, and to allow the pryces therof in their stipends
1579 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. I. 98.
To pay xl s. restand of the pryce of ane boll meill quhilk he lowsit to him
1594–5 Edinb. Skinners in Bk. Old Edinb. C. VI. 97.
To lous the act and decreit fra Walter Mawer
1619 Haddington B. Rec. (Robb) 10 June.
[The council] ordanis the thesaurer to delyver to Nicoll Broun swascher ten merkis to lowss his awin claithis & also to by his sone … ane quhite poldovie
1667 Hutton Sess. Bk. in Berw. Nat. C. VII. 228.
Given out be Jon Hutchesone to louse the timber to the kirk, 13 lib. 3 sh.

15. In Orkney, according to udal law: To purchase or redeem (land).a. In reference to ‘the rights of the brothers to buy out the sisters’ shares in the lands of the Head Bu'. Also const. fra (the sister). b. In the passive, of the sister: To be lousit of, to be bought out of (the inheritance). c. To redeem (land) (out of one's hands), according to the ‘roith’ or, kinsfolks' right of redemption of udal land sold outside the kin. d. To lous landis pris, to discharge payment as appointed by law for transactions of this kind.a. 1514 Rec. Earld. Orkney 88.
And the said Schir William to louse a sistyr part of the foirsaid laundis and heretage, togidder with the tane half of the tend penne and the ferd, as the eldast bruthir
1553 Ib. 106.
Anent the lowsing of the land of Howsgar that Johne Cromate yongar was dempt to lows fra his syster Cristan Cromate, and his fader and he to pay hir the byrun malis syn the desais of hir mother
b. 1575 Orkney Oppress. 4.
Oppression committed by Lord Robert Stuart be inbringing of new laws … viz. … that the sisters should not be lowsed of their heid bull
1578 Rec. Earld. Orkney 143.
The assiis … fyndis the said Margret lawfulle lowssit bayth off landis and movablis be hir said umquhill brothir
c. 1551 Rec. Earld. Orkney 244.
The quhilk twa mark land I the said David lousit out of the handis of our … kynisman maister Williame Sincleir and grantis that the said Maunis is nerrest rothman to lous the said land
d. 1522 Rec. Earld. Orkney 95.
The airis till byde still in till thame [sc. their houses] … quhill the said Williame outred thame the soume of twel poundis … and this soume til be put in gold siluir oxin and kye syk as may lous landis pris

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"Lows v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 2 Dec 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/lows_v_1>

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