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

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First published 1971 (DOST Vol. IV).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Maucht, n. Also: macht, mawcht, maught. [ME. (13th c.) maȝt, maht, mauȝt, maght, appar. ON. *maht-r (Icel. mátt-r), related to OE. miht Micht n. After the 14th c. appar. only Scots.] Might.Common only in early verse.

1. Operative power, ability, capacity.Also latterly plur. in sing. sense.b. Common in the phrases with (also at, for) all (one's) maucht. a1400 Leg. S. i. 503.
Petir … sad that schame inucht had he, ‘At of his craft has no mar mawcht’
Ib. 717.
Of our-selfe haf we na maucht
1662 Forbes Cantus (1666) xxii.
All my corps, alace! in pain that force nor strength have I no maughts To use themselves as they were mine
b. 1375 Barb. xv. 489 (E).
Thai faucht felly with all thair maucht
a1400 Leg. S. i. 201.
Petir … bad hym with all his mawcht Lay it [a staff] on his falow sowne
Ib. iii. 646. Ib. v. 394.
A fare ȝounge man Sancte John fand … And to a bischope hym betaucht To trete hym wele fore all his maucht
Ib. 520.
Kepe tham [sc. teachings of Christ] thare-fore at all macht
Ib. xxi. 454.
He … hyre in armys racht. & hyre enbrasit with al his macht
Ib. xxii. 338. Ib. xxxiii. 448.
Althare macht
Ib. xl. 12. Ib. xlvii. 88.
Vith al macht
?1438 Alex. i. 161, 1236, etc.

2. Mightiness, great power or strength.

a. As an attribute of God. a1400 Leg. S. xxix. 860.
Be Godis macht I saw [etc.]
Ib. xxxii. 186.
Al hyre body [sc. a maiden] syne bethacht To God to kepe for His macht
Ib. l. 302.
Scho … prayt Hyme for His mykill macht To gif hir grace
a1497, 15.. Gray MS. iv. 30.
I [sc. Christ] left my macht & tuke mekenes

b. Physical strength or force; also, valour. c. Commanding power, dominion; military resources or backing.b. (1) 1375 Barb. xix. 587 (E).
Had nocht bene his mekill maucht … In till that place he had bene dede
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 3166.
Of his hors in dispite of his maucht He raisit him
1549 Compl. 41/7.
Than the master cryit, … Ane lang draucht, ane lang draucht, mair maucht, mair maucht
1560 Rolland Seven S. 1788.
Sa lang at lenth thir twa [sc. serpent and hound] togidder faucht, Amaist the hound al quyte had loist his maucht
(2) 1375 Barb. ii. 421.
Thocht he wes off mekill maucht He gert him galay disyly
Ib. xi. 439 (E).
With mony men of mekill maucht
?1438 Alex. i. 1804, 2322, etc.(3) 1375 Barb. xii. 534 (E).
Schyr Eduuard … met thaim with full mekill maucht
?1438 Alex. ii. 4408. c1420 Wynt. iv. xii (W).
How the Carentynis faucht Agane the Romanis with gret maucht
c. c1420 Wynt. v. 3065.
Traen … aryvyd wytht mekyll mawcht [W. macht] And Octaveus thare he fawcht
Ib. iii. 784 (W). Ib. iv. xxiii (W).
How the Romanis with seire nationis facht, And vincust thaim for all thare maucht
?1438 Alex. i. 2524.
Na for the King and all his maucht Thay dedenȝit nocht on bak to ga

3. a. Of impersonal agents: Power, efficacy, ‘virtue’. b. Of natural forces: Force, strength. a1400 Leg. S. xxii. 15.
It has vertu & maucht Fore to resyst a-gane fyre-slacht
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1736.
All the fell fyre-flaucht Come frome the hewine with so gret maucht That [etc.]

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"Maucht n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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