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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Ster(e, Stir(r)e, Stur(r)(e, Stour(e, v.1 Also: steir(e, steyr(e, steer, stear(e, sterre, stair, staer, styr(r, stwr, stowr(e. P.t. and p.p. -it, -yt, -et, -t, -ed, -d(e. [ME and e.m.E. styre(n (?c1154), sture(n (c1175), stirenn (Orm), sturien, storien (both Layamon), stere, stir (both Cursor M.), sterien (Ayenb.), stirre (c1400), stur (c1440), stor(e (15th c.), steare (1544), sturre (a1545), stour (1555), stoor (1558), steer (a1560), OE styrian.]

I. tr. 1. To (cause to) move.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xliv 258.
Enchaunturis … he gert cum … Hir with enchanmentis to stere
1460 Hay Alex. 2632.
Nane in warld suld turn abak his weird Mare than the hillis of Armenie mycht be steird
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 222 (Asl.).
Our crevist cabillis all at a cast will crak Quhen lykis He His stormes for to steire
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 371, 375.
Throw din … The fische ar causit within the riuer steir … greit motioun of air the water steiris; the water steirit fisches for feirdnes fleis
1513 Doug. i iii 68.
‘Ȝe wyndis' quod he, ‘but my leif durst begyn Baith erd and ayr to move on this maneir And eik the sey with sa stowt stormys steir’
1513 Doug. viii vi 97.
Gret Jove … with his rycht hand dyd assembill and steir The watry clowdis
1596 Dalr. I 297/8.
Sche sett vp a brasen image with a goldne aple in the hand … The king … steiris the apill frome syd to syd
(b) 1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 434.
To be as so many pricks and thorns in thy side, to stir thee forward to seek the heavenly Canaan
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 148/655.
The palsie els doth vndertake A warre and battaile bolde, Els spasmus sturres, the one doth slacke The other strait doth holde The senewes of weake Adam
1746 J. Row Sermon 4.
The Kirk of Scotland … became a bonny pacing beast … their cadging … gave her sik a het coat, that we have … been stirring her up and down to keep her faae foundying
1643 Fugitive Poetry II xx 18/27.
He painted others couring on their knees … But when he came for Agamemnon … his pensile to stir [: dear], In sorrowes so exhausted was his skill That [etc.]
1688 Tryal Philip Standsfield 22.
When the deponent and the other chirurgion … were stirring and moving the head and craig he saw no blood at all
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 673.
He is a waik horse that dow not steir the sadill

b. To cause (a horse) to move (with vigour, at speed); to ride (a horse). Also, once, to drive (draught oxen).There may be some overlap with Ster(e v.2, to guide or direct (the movement), in some examples, however, examples in Alex. having a French equivalent suggest that vigorous or speedy movement is central to the meaning.(1) 1375 Barb. xii 42.
In hy till him the hors he steris. And quhen schyr Henry saw the king Cum on for-owtyn abaysing Till him he raid in full gret hy
?1438 Alex. i 1155.
Antigonus to him sterit his steid [F. Antigonus lait corre le destrier remuant], And he him met in that, gude speid, Bot he missit and by can gang
?1438 Alex. ii 4136.
Him semit be douchty in dede, Quha had him sene sterand [F. poursallir] his steid
?1438 Alex. ii 4231.
‘Quhare is my brether? Is nane me by?’ Caneus him hard and sterit his steid [F. s'a le cheval hurté]; Streikand his spere, com wale gud speid
?1438 Alex. ii 9830.
The steid he sterit and to him drew [F. Le destrier … il … li vait au devant]
1460 Hay Alex. 3164.
The king spurit Busefall, and fast him sterd
c1475 Wall. v 251.
Till him he stert the courser wondyr wicht
1513 Doug. v x 64.
Quhen thai by war runnyn, thar horsis thai steir, And turnys agane … To preif thar fors with iavillyngis
15.. Clar. ii 1106.
He steirit his coursour with ane knichtlie feir
1567 Sat. P. iii 24.
Æneas sone that weill ane steid could steir
(2) 15.. Wyf Awcht. 100.
Scho … stowtly steird the stottis abowt Scho draif the day vnto the nicht Scho lowisit the plwch [etc.]

c. To cause (an implement) to move; to drive (a plough), wield (a weapon), guide (a pen); also to thrust (a weapon) in under or amyd (something).There is clearly influence from or overlap with Ster(e v.2 in some instances listed here.The -ai- spellings in (2) seem to be required by the rhyme.(1) a1500 Henr. Fab. 2232 (Harl.).
Thair wes ane husband, quhilk had ane pleuch to steir
a1500 Lanc. 1510.
And what awalith owthir sheld or sper
1513 Doug. vii xi 4.
Ȝhe musys now … steir my pen
1535 Stewart 10353.
The bowmen big sterit thair stringis weill With mony flane
(2) 1513 Doug. iii iv 56.
Vnder the gers … Ful prevaly thar swerdis in thai stair [: bair]
1513 Doug. xii v 197.
Chorineus … a byrnand schide has hynt And gan it rycht amyd hys vissage stair [: hair] That blesyt vp hys … berd

d. To remove (a person or persons) (from a place). a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 505.
Heir sall I mak residence Bot he with force mak defence, With strenth me to steir

2. To move, disturb, tamper with.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xxxiii 891.
Thai stere it [sc. the corpse of St. George] ne mocht
c1475 Wall. v 425.
The Gask hall standand as it was left, With out harme, nocht sterd off it a stane
?1545 Corr. M. Lorraine 144.
As for uther teyndis … we have gart leid thame in justlie and treulie and sall nocht be sterit nor handlit untill the tyme we meite with your grace
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5257.
To sic ane wark that I neuer intend The michtie towre … For to put doun … Quhilk was buyldit be clerkis … Thairfoir I can be na way giue consent To steir that towre for ony gold or rent
1567 Kirkcaldy B. Rec. App. 310.
Gif … ony … persoun … bring ony beir maill quhite malt or ony uther kynd of merchandise to the said burgh that na nychtbouris … tak upone hand to steir the same quhill the bailyeis mak price thairupone
a1568 Bann. MS 145a/8.
Quha hes gud malt and makis ill drynk Wa mot be hir werd … Abowt hir beir na bell to clynk … Bot quytt to hell that scho may sink The taptre quhyll scho steird
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 331/26.
The teynd quhilk tennentis had befoir Off thair awin malingis corne and stoir Thair laird hes tane … And garris thame to his ȝaird it leid Bot thair awin stok thai dar not steir Thocht all thair bairnis sould want breid
16.. Hist. Kennedy 38.
Tak possession of the same [ground] bot nocht to steir the cornis
1624 Edinb. Surgeons 110.
It is ordinet … that the buik sall nevir be steirit nor any act thairin deleit of befoir
1622-6 Bisset II 223/25.
Næ geir in schipis suld be stered out of cloise lumes quhill [etc.]
(b) 1622 Innes Sketches 516.
Sche [sc. a hind] schall not be sturde this yeir
1655 Lamont Diary 84.
She caused some officers … to driue some beasts off Brunshells … to the number of 12 or 14 meares, kay, and younge beasts, bot did not sturre the oxen
1686 Inverness Rec. II 341.
He said then to his master that it was not mowes to sturre & remove a march stone

3. To move (a part of one's body), freq. in negative use: Not to be able to make the slightest movement. Passing into fig. or quasi-fig. use: To stere one's hand, taill, etc., to act (swiftly, determinedly, disruptively), make a move, bestir oneself. Also proverb. b. Of a horseman: (Not) to move his rein, implying complete stillness.(a) a1400 Leg. S. i 476.
Throw his wekit sorcery … gert apere That the ded man his hevid can stere
a1400 Leg. S. iv 70.
Stil before hym stud Philet, And mycht ster noder hand na fete
1513 Doug. iv vii 16.
Quhiddir gif he steryt his eyn, as ocht hym alyt?
1513 Doug. xii Prol. 155.
Phebus red fowle hys corall creist can steir
1570 Sat. P. xi 23.
My hauie hap … That lym nor lyth I may not steir
1580 Reg. Privy C. III 337.
Scho is not able to steir hir body for the vehement pane and dolloure thairof
c1590 Fowler I 218/5.
No honey beyes there wings more suift did steire to see the paynted flouers
1604 Dundonald Par. Rec. 52.
Scho said … scho docht not steir leg nor airm sen Kaithrein Makteir ves at hir
1605-6 Welsh Forty-eight Serm. 102.
(b) 1635 Wodrow in Hay Geneal. 88.
My advocate shall not be able to sture a footte, (for he was sorlie vexed with the gout)
proverb. a1598 Ferg. Prov. No. 784.
Tread on a worme, and she will steir her tail
(b) a1663 Pappity Stampoy 51.
Tread on a worm and she will stir her tail
fig. a1500 Prestis of Peblis 612.
Now steir thy hand, myne awin deir brother, Win fast be tyme and be nocht lidder, For wit thow weil Hal binks ar ay slidder
c1500 Barounis Lawis 6a.
The party agane quham that iugement is gevin behuvis of law to aganesay it rycht thar … The quhilk party sall say incontinent in this maneir fra the dome be gevin or he steir his tays quhar his his [sic] helis stude [Skene Reg. Maj. i 104 b, or he steir his taes, quhere his heill stude] that dome gevin be the moutht of N soytour of B is evill & fals
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 555.
Auctoritie, nor power spirituall, Ryches, freindschip mycht not, that tyme, preuail, Quhen Dame Curia began to steir hir taill
1558-66 Knox II 331.
Hir uncles war begyning to steir thair taill, and to truble the hoill realme of France
1603 Philotus 66.
I am ane fische I am an eile Can steir my toung and tayle richt weill … I can with fair anis fleitch and flatter [etc.]
b. a1500 Lanc. 2827.
Who is he ȝone? Who may he be, ȝhone knycht, So still that hovith and sterith not his ren

c. To make (a gesture), also, transf., to emit, utter (a sound). 1611-57 Mure Dido & Æneas ii 529.
So still he stands, nor voyce nor gesture steirs

4. To agitate with an implement, etc., to mix in this fashion, usu. of a liquid or semi-solid mass. Also, transf., of a vessel containing liquid, etc. Also proverb. b. To cause a movement of evil-smelling air. c. To stir the coals, to cause trouble. d. To plough, usu. across the furrows of a previous ploughing. Also proverb. [Also in the later dial.] a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 543.
Fendis … Sterand the potis of hell
1512–13 Treas. Acc. IV 508.
ij dusan of firryn sperris to Robeyn Borthik to steir the mettell with
1540 Treas. Acc. VII 488.
Men quhilkis helpit him to stere the mettell in the furnes
1541 Treas. Acc. VIII 125.
Sparris of fyr to be cole rakis and stere the mettell with
15… Sc. Hist. Rev. IX 450.
Quhen it is meltit tak vermeleon and put in amang it in the diche and steir it weill about with ane stik and syne lat it cwill and mak it in litill pecis
1605 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 49.
Scho stered his new aill with ane deid mannis harne pan
1616 Dalyell Darker Superst. 264.
And tuik ane bone furth therof … and bad hir steir hir milk with it
1645–6 J. Hope Diary (1958) 148.
The slagges wer drawen out and sturred to make them cleire of the metall with gavelockes and porres
1662 Crim. Trials III 618.
Then touk dowgis flesh and sheipis flesh … and seithed it … in a pot among water And than I took it owt; and the Divell with his awin hand did put it in a sheipis bagg, and he steiring it still abowt with his handis
16… Nat. Lib. MS 22. 2. 11 penult. p.
Warm it in a pan still stiring it about with a spune
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 201.
A still pule wil stink and ye steir it
a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1305.
Quhen ye come in a gustles house, steir the wesch trocht about
b. c1420 Wynt. v 2950.
And as he [sc. the dragon] rewmys and he berys, All the towne in stynk he sterys
c. a1639 Spotsw. Hist. (1677) 193.
(As there are never wanting some in Court to stir the coals) divers tales were brought to the King [etc.]
d. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1385.
Sture myne and maw thyne
1699 Belhaven Rudiments 10.
You may possibly ask me why I advise you to stir your barley so soon

5. To move or affect (a person, etc.) emotionally, to inspire, to excite, to rouse to action. c1420 Ratis R. 793.
Gret joy that hapnis sudandly To steir thi spreitis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 953.
Tod Lowrie … start on fute, all stonist, and all steird Ryifand his hair he cryit [etc.]
1513 Doug. iv viii 63.
Al thar wepyng mycht not him anys steir
1513 Doug. vi i 86.
To ask answeris Now is the tyme; lo, lo, the god me steris!
1533 Boece 60b.
Ferleig … sterit be oportune persuasiouns of familiaris … began [etc.]
15.. Christis Kirk 64 (B).
Ane bent a bow sic sturt cowd steir him Grit skayth wesd to haif skard him
1551 Hamilton Cat. 92.
Enemeis was rasit and sterit aganis him
1551 Hamilton Cat. 169.
He be his grace steris and inspyris our hartis with faith and lufe
1554 Knox III 189.
I heir of none (God steir sum!) that dar put thair hands betuix the blude-thristie lyonis and thair pray
1560 Rolland Seven S. 7245.
All dennar time I was sa steirit in thocht, That I not wist gif it was ȝe or nocht
1588 King Cat. 184.
Men … being be the Haly Ghaist steirit and strenthed, be the same dois rinne fordwart in the way of Gods commandiments
c1590 Fowler I 346/9.
No storme of Fortune may hir sturr, Nor worldly chaunce hir scarr; Yet say I not a man should prove A woman ouer farr
1513 Doug. xiii iii 54.
To quhat estait Thou sterys furth thir prowd myndis inflait! Quhou mony slichtis and dissatis quent With thé thou tursis

b. Const. to do, be (something), also, that the person affected should do (something).(1) a1400 Leg. S. Prol. 19.
Thingis that thare hart mycht stere Tyl wyne hewine
a1400 Leg. S. xxii 768.
Til excyt thame & til stere To this martyre dewot to be
a1400 Leg. S. xxiii 207.
God steryt the hart of a burches, … A house to byg
1416 Douglas Corr. 234.
Der and wel belufit brother, we haue syndry tymys writtyn to yhow til stere our lufit eme of Albany douly to trauele for … our deliuerans
1416 Red Bk. Menteith I 286.
1439 Acts II 54/1.
The said princes … has ripely examinit … the motyuis be the quhilkis the foresaid personis war stirit to withdraw the foresaid liberte fra hir
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Rom. xi 14.
For als long as I am apostile of hethinmen, I sall honour my mynisterie, Gif in ony maner I stere [W. stire] my flesch for to follow, and that I mak sum of thame saaf
1533 Boece 38.
Sa grete desire sterit the mynde of the pepill to haue ane king that [etc.]
1551 Hamilton Cat. 44.
Gif we wil tharfor considder the greit lufe of God, syndry wayis schawin to us, it will doutles steire and provok us to lufe God agane
1553 Corr. M. Lorraine 369.
Not sa habill at this present to do sic service as my will commandis and steris me to
1582 Reg. Privy C. III 493.
To stere his … subjectis … to neglect thair … dewtie
1595 Cal. Sc. P. XII 44.
1598 James VI Basil. Doron 124/4.
Steir [1603 stirre]
(2) a1400 Leg. S. ii 1006.
Quhy suld thane Petir sa be steryt, That he ymang the folk suld preche
c1420 Wynt. v 5584 (W).
He be thaim sa sterit was … That … he till him tuke the honour Off the empyre
1513 Doug. ix ii 92.
The presens of Turnus dyd thame steir [Sm. steyr] That every-man [etc.]

c. Const. to (unto, till) a purpose, state, emotion, etc. a1400 Leg. S. xvii 321.
Myn gud dede suld the bettir quyte To compuncione thu [? thé] suld steyre The instance of myn prayer sere
1490 Irland Mir. II 31/5.
He was principale … innemy to … Jhesus and sterit the fals Jowis … to hatrent … agane him
1513 Doug. ix viii 7.
Turnus, … Till armys steris euery man
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Rom. ix 17.
And the scripture sais to Pharao, For to this thing I haue sterit [W. stirid] thee, that [etc.]
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Prol. Rom. 322/5.
Synne … is not callit the outwarde wark only committit by the body, bot al that hail besines, ande quhat sa euir accumpanyetht, mowetht or stearetht vnto the outwarde deide
1531 Bell. Boece II 441.
At his [sc. King David's] cuming to the bordouris, he maid mony knichtis, to steir thaim to knichtlie vassalage
1533 Boece 117.
Vespasiane hering his regrete … was sterit to myseracioun
1551 Hamilton Cat. 58.
He takis tent, that na man steir or provok hir till adultrie
1551 Hamilton Cat. 69.
Ceremoneis … ordanit to steir the peple to devotioun
1639 Baillie I 239.
He goes … out of meer malice, and steires a numer of the people neer to a mutinous sedition

6. To instigate, provoke (an emotion, intention, ability, etc.). b. specif. To incite (discord). a1500 Lanc. 2102.
This is the flour that al our gladnes sterith
1513 Doug. i vii 79.
Thir lamentabyll takynnys … aucht to compassioun steir
1513 Doug. i x 7.
Within hir banys … The hoyt fyre of lufe to kyndill and steir
1513 Doug. xi vii 194.
Gyf ony strenth thou has … Or marciall prowes steryng thyne entent … Behald thy fa
1561 Cal. Sc. P. I 642.
[It was easy to judge by your letter] that your choler wes styrred
b. 14.. Acts I 112/2.
Eftir … Alexander the Kyng … thar wes steryt & raisyt discord
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Acts xxiv 5.
We haue fundin this wickitman stering [W. stiringe, P. stirynge] dissensioun to al Jewis in al the warld
c1590 J. Stewart 11/6.
Dycht and derect my dytment but disdaine, The quhilk intends to steir ane staitlie stour

c. Of fortune, etc.: To cause (nature, the world) to change, to initiate change. c1420 Ratis R. 1775.
For fyrst wertew of al moving, That sterys kind in al degre Wyll ay reward al gud bounte; And pwnys wyce
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 239/11.
This fals warld … That changeis fassoun everie ȝeir … Quhen we beleif it is most stabill To change on ws it is most able Fortoun so quentlie dois it steir

7. To disturb; molest; attack; provoke; harm.(a) ?1438 Alex. ii 585.
To-morne … Mak we to the hoste ane ieopardy … Steir we thame in our cuming That Alexander heir thairof
c1400 Troy-bk. i 106.
We come neuir in purpos … Ȝour kingis land to stroye no stere Ne to do wrang ne wiolence
c1420 Ratis R. App. ii 20.
Off thi gud dedis mak na dyne Be stout with wrang quhen men thé steris
1456 Hay II 82/25.
And thus ar realmes throu wrechit princis destroyit; for quha may better destroy and put doune a realme na he that all steris and misgovernis
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 352.
Lo, quhat it is … With fraward langage for to mufe and steir Our craibit goddis … My blaspheming now haue I bocht full deir
a1500 Rauf C. 173.
Is nane sa gude as leif of, and mak na mair stryfe, For I am stonischit at this straik that hes me thus steird
1513 Doug. ii vi 93.
Quhen I thame saw … wilful forto stryke in the melle, Thus I begouth thame forthirmar to steir: ‘O ȝe maist forsy ȝong men [etc.]'
1549 Soc. Ant. XI 91.
Thai brek kirk thame self or euer the same wes sterit by ws
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 918.
I haif … Ane fre conduct … That be the way na strangeris sould vs steir
1581 Bann. Memor. 320.
Gif I had bene ane hundreth, and he his alone, I wald not have steired a hayre of his heid!
1596 Dalr. II 397/6.
To … banise al pease out of the land, steir vp armes against the realme … steir al throw al, as this day we se
1621 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 339.
The Laird of Drumlangrig … not onlie spairit to straik him with his awin handis bot lykewayis dischairgit all the rest vnder the paine of thair lyffis to steir him vtherwayis the said Robert had beine slain
16… Sempill P. 73/12.
Sit doun by me, my bonnie bird; In troth I winna steer thee
(b) 1648 Lanark B. Rec. 135.
That no man should be harmed or sturred
1675 Erskine Diary 223.
One of the women said ‘Ye darr not … sturr … my Ladyes gentlewoman'

8. reflex. To bestir oneself, to move (about) actively or energetically; chiefly, to fight in such a fashion. b. To remove oneself, go (to or towards a place). ?1438 Alex. ii 2691.
Best of his brether he couth him steir At melle [F. Et plus que tous les autres se savoit bien mesler]
1456 Hay I 64/13.
He … sa stoutly sterit him amang thame … that thare durst nane cum on him allane
1460 Hay Alex. 3230.
Busefall vnder the king him steird That hors or man that he gat in his tusk … he gaue him sic ane rusk
1460 Hay Alex. 3787.
Than Bussifal sa rampit and him sterde, With tuskis, harnyes, and fete he delt sic rowtis That [etc.]
1540 Lynd. Sat. 713.
Fra tyme the king begin to steir him Gud counsale than I dreid cum neir him
15.. Clar. iii 366.
No man micht him gainstand … so manlie he him steird
a1570-86 Maitland in Maitl. F. 303/65.
That nane dar steir thame
1627 Justiciary Cases I 69.
He remanit bedfast the space of saxtene oulkis nocht hable to steer him selff and sa be the said crewall straik gevin to him
b. 1460 Hay Alex. 560.
Alexander … thocht that it was tyme him to steir And thocht he wald na langar byd at lare Bot hame to Macedone than wald he fare
c1475 Wall. v 106.
He bade him ga, and said the strenth was ner; Bot he tharfor wald nocht fastir him ster

c. To stere one's time, to make vigorous use of an opportunity.(a) 1460 Hay Alex. 1511.
They brak vpoun thame sidling with ane force … Thay steirit thair tyme and occupiit thair place, And held the roum
a1578 Pitsc. II 30/10.
Seing this devissioun amangis the nobilietie of Scotland they steirit thair tyme and wssit thair weiris the mair scharpelie
(b) 1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 312.
For the whole time when he sat his enemies were alof, stirring their time, raging in murder

9. To raise (troops), specif. those owed by feudal obligation. 1520 Bk. Carlaverock II 458.
Me Johnne Herys … my barnis kyn and frendis that I may ster to [be] bound … to ane noble and michtie lord Robert Lord Maxwell in manrent speciale retinew and seruis
1525 Crim. Trials I i 127.
Comperit Andro Ker of Cesfurde, Walter Scot of Bukcleuche [etc.] … and swore that they be thaim self, kynne freyndis seruandis and pairt-takaris and al that thai may raise and stere sall lelely and treuly serue Archibald Erll of Anguse ryde gang and serue him [etc.]
1529 Misc. Abbotsf. C. 8.
And al that we may steir sal supple mainteine and defend the said Robert in the peciabill brouking … of our saidis landis
1531 Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale I 114.
Landis and gudis and all that thay micht steir
1531–2 Hawick Arch. Soc. (1905) 26.
And sulde debate that querell at thair uter power with thair personis, landis, and gudis, and all that thai micht steir

II. intr. 10. Of things in general: To be in motion, to move as an integral part of existence, esp. of life; with negative, to indicate no (sign of) life.(a) 1375 Barb. ix 387.
Quhen the king thaim hard nocht ster, He was blyth
1375 Barb. x 633.
Thai sat still lurkand ilkane. The wachys quhen thai herd nocht ster [etc.]
a1400 Leg. S. i 238.
And serpens als of bras he made Sterand, as thai lyf had hade
c1420 Wynt. ii 476.
Na thai couth fynd na lyvand man In all thai landys sterand
c1420 Wynt. iv 480.
Off [the] Perseis nane thai fand Wytht-in the tentys than sterand, For hale the ost removyde were
1456 Hay I 75/30.
The thingis that ar corporale in this erde steris nocht, na movis nocht with the moving of it
1513 Doug. Comm. i Prol. 367.
Vndyr animal beyn contenyt all mankynd, beist, byrd … and all other sik thingis at lyfis and steris, that has a body
1587-99 Hume 28/80.
All trees and simples great and small, That balmie leife do beir, Nor thay were painted on a wall, Na mair they moue or steir
(b) 1662 Forbes Cantus (1666) xxvii.
Where waters smoothest are, deep are the foords: The dyal sturs, yet none perceives it move

b. Of (parts of) the body: To move involuntarily. 1513 Doug. iv ii 26.
As thai debowellit wer, … thar entralis behald flekkyr and steir … Sum augury to persaue
1513 Doug. vi i 98.
With the goddis maieste … Hir hart pipis gan to flekkir and steir
1513 Doug. x vii 87.
Half lyfles … thi fyngyrris war sterand
1619 Sel. Biog. I 104.
That beast at the change of the moon takes the fand falling evill … lyes down on the back, steiring as though it were in the pangs of death

c. Of the tongue: To speak, to be capable of speech. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) lxxiv 48.
Quhill my mynd may think, and towng may steir

d. Of a star: ? To twinkle. Cf. flekkir and steir in b above. c1450-2 Howlat 547 (A).
The sternis of ane nothir strynd steris so faire

e. ? To tremble, hesitate (the Virgilian reference being to the voice). 1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Georgics ii 44.
Ferrea, infragilis, firma (stark, that can not stirre)

11. To start into motion from rest, to begin to move, freq. with negative, to be unable or unwilling to make any movement. Also proverb. and fig.There is some overlap with 10 above.Quot. 1553 may belong in 15 below.(a) c1420 Ratis R. 1675.
Wnes gange ore ster he may
1460 Hay Alex. 1282.
The nycht ourpassit … the ost begouth to steir
a1500 Henr. Fab. 564.
Say that I and ȝe Freindis ar maid … Than will thay [sc. dogs] stint I stand for it, and not steir
a1500 Seven S. 897.
In the caldron [sc. of pitch] fell he sone Thar stak he still & mycht nocht steire
?a1500 Obsecro 73.
Sanct Johnne in hir wame can steir
1513 Doug. ix vi 78.
The tendir bestis, that for awfull feir Of hys presens dar nowder bleyt nor steir
1513 Doug. xi iii 10.
Folkis that lyfles mycht not steir
1513 Doug. xii ii 90.
The … verlettis of hys stabill … Dyd clap and straik thar [sc. the horses'] leyndis to mak thame steir
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus ii 157.
[He] knelit doun … Kissand the bill farthermair or he steird, Deliuerit it as the doctouris him leird
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 6175.
As Christ tyll his disciplis did appeir, All entres clos, and non of thame did steir
1570 Crosraguel Chart. II 3.
My handis … beand bound … [I] could nawayis steir
1622 Crim. Trials III 509.
He … wes brocht to sic infirmitie and waiknes … that he was nocht hable to steir or move himself
1662 Crim. Trials III 608.
I lay down this boosom (or stooll) in the Divellis name, Let it not steir … [Quhill I] com again!
(b) 1584 Sempill in Sat. P. xlv 361.
Never a man durst stire quhill day
c1600 Poem (verso T. Pont) 29.
I sturre not for no stormes do blow
a1614 D. Hume in a1614 W. Cowper Dikaiologie (1614) 91.
That they mute not, stirre not; doe what hee list
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 166.
Ther to ly in ambush, and not to stur vntill the armyes did joyn
1635 Dickson Wr. 197.
As a young child that runs when his father bears him by the shoulders, he only pats and stirs with his feet
proverb. a1628 Carmichael Prov. No. 1397.
Stramp on a snail, sche will steir with her taill
fig. c1450-2 Howlat 709 (A).
Quhar sic statis will steire, thair stylis till ostend
1553–4 Corr. M. Lorraine 370.
Your grace vill swrelie understand how scharp thai ar apoun my evin. Nochtwythstanding, I sall … stik fermelie at your grace merk and sall nocht stwr for ther hornyng

b. In chess: To make a move. a1500 Bk. Chess 2058.
He [sc. the king] has the moving of a knycht In poyntis void quhen lykis him to steire

c. fig. To change. c1420 Wynt. viii 6086.
Qwhy couth he noucht have in to pes Haldyn his land, as it than wes, And hym-selwyn owt off dawngere? Qwha standis welle, he suld noucht stere
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (STS) xxxv 15.
Every warldly thing dois turne and steir
1513 Doug. v vi 110.
Eneas … sayd; … owt of weir As fyrst was set the pryce, sal na man steir

12. To move in a direction, to travel, make a journey; to come or go; to depart.(a) a1500 Gol. & Gaw. 559.
As glauis glowand on gleid grymly thai ride Wondir sternly thai steir on thair stent stedis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 766.
He haillit to the heid, and, or he steird, The foxe he prikkit fast vnto the eird
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2957.
The watter … In quhilk the saull and bodye wer steirrand, … The spreit vpwart the body precis doun
a1500 Sir Eger 2752.
Sir Grahame was bowning to a play … Upon a gentle steed steerand
1560 Rolland Seven S. 6036.
This woman plesis me … I will not let hir steir
1565 Cal. Sc. P. II 148.
[The Queen purposed riding to St. Johnston] … [but will not] steir [without Darnley may travel]
1577 Fam. Innes 132.
I can nocht steir quhill I se how my brudir dois
(b) 1567 Anderson Collect. Mary II 175.
Not to stur or depart quhill [etc.]
1633 Red Bk. Menteith II 152.
I intendit to haue waitted vpon your lordships this nicht at Halyroodhous bot being so seik as I am not able to sturre [etc.]
c1633 Black Bk. Taymouth xix.
I had ane letter … from … Traquair desyring me to be in Edinburgh so soon as I could, quhiche hes altered my resolution that my familie cannot stur till … I returne; ?
16… Nat. Lib. MS Hist. Ser. 183, 130. p. 151.
That a marischal be chosen, to take order for the march and stirrage, and to give the watch word to such as shall march and stir for the time

b. Const. fra (from), (out, furth) of, throw, to (a place or event) ? with. Also fig.(a) c1420 Wynt. ii 1286.
Ay as scho wald drawe hym nere, Fra plas to place the bul walde stere
c1450-2 Howlat 150 (A).
All the statis of the kirk out of steid steris
1513 Doug. xii viii 12.
The barnage flokkis furth … Turnus … Persauyt thame thus sterand throw the plane
(b) 1460 Hay Alex. 2332.
On na wayis to iournayis he suld steir, Bot mak cheir till his mother
a1500 Rauf C. 12.
Mony stout man steiris Of town with the king
a1500 Bk. Chess 2150.
1513 Doug. vi xiv 76.
His char, with mekil glor triumphale, Sal steir furth to the hie capitol wal
1535 Stewart 33227.
Tha la drunkin … Out of thair bed had no power to steir
1543 Corr. M. Lorraine 34.
The kyngis inbassatouris … quhilkis sell nocht steir all the gydder oder out of Dumbartayn or Gleskaw quhill I hayf vord fra your lordschip
c1550 Lynd. Test. Meldrum 34.
My spreit … neuir moir to steir furth of that steid
15.. Clar. iv 2117.
[He] pullit at the arrow … Bot … it wald not steire out of the wounde
1558-66 Knox II 321.
Yf he steired furth of his lodgeing, he … should [etc.]
a1595 Descr. Isles 439.
Na labourers of the ground are permittit to steir furth of the cuntrie
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. I 113.
The haill oxin ran altogidder in ane clew, culd nocht be gottin red, nor wald steir furth of the place
(c) 1567 Crim. Trials I i 498.
My lord thareftir past to the wall at Leith Wynd to have past over it but because he thocht it over hich he sturrit thairwith and came back again to the Nedder Bow and past furth at the Port
1630-1651 Gordon Geneal. Hist. 43.
The Engleshmen … wold not sturr from thence for all that the governor cold doe
1632 Red Bk. Menteith I 366.
He intendes not to sture from home schortlie
1633 Red Bk. Menteith II 154.
He is reteared to the contrei not to sture from his awne hous to your majestie's pleasour be knawen
c1650 Spalding II 405.
Forbidding any to stur fra the camp
1682 Lett. to Earl Aberd. 60.
The King is not to sture from Whythall ontill Michaelmis day be past
(d) 1513 Doug. i i 65 (Sm.).
Thair stewinnis stowrand [C. scowrand, Ruddim. stowrand; L. ruebant] fast throw the salt fame
15.. Wyf Awcht. 65.
Than to the kyrn that he did stoure [: houre] and iwmlit at it quhill he swatt
1680 Sempill P. 55/105.
I slipt my page and stour'd to Leith To try my credit at the wine
fig. a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 404 (Asl.).
It may be callit a blyndnes richt bestlie Quhar men … Out of ewill stait lykis nocht to steire

c. Const. various adverbials: Abroad, further, heir and thar, xxti myle. Also fig., to farre.(a) 1674 Aberd. Eccl. Rec. 300.
Iff he keep at home, not steering abroad unnecessarlie
a1700 Mare of Colinton 8.
The silly mare bade bide And further wou'd not steir
(b) 1513 Doug. xii Prol. 58.
The syluer scalyt fyschis … Ourthwort cleir stremys sprynkland for the heyt With fynnys schynand brovn … And chyssell talys, stowrand heir and thar
1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 278.
ijx horse … which att all tymes wyll stowre xxti myle of even as far as Saynt Jonstons campas
fig. 1536 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 18.
And by all meanes compell and reproue the fautie and vicious; and to exclude from the churche them that stereth to farre

d. Of work: To go forward. 1513 Doug. Transl. 194/14.
It was compylit in auchteyn moneth space Set I feil syth syk twa monethis infeir Wrait neuer a word, nor mycht the volum steir

13. To move about vigorously, to fight or engage in battle in such a fashion. ?1438 Alex. ii 1664.
Greatly menit he Gaudifeir And his sone, that wele couth steir
?1438 Alex. ii 7290.
Quhen Alexander … Saw … the hoste of Inde halely Sterand and reuisand heir and thare, ‘Lordingis’, said he
c1475 Wall. v 838.
The hardy Scottis so steryt in that sted, … Amang Sotheron a full gret rowme thai maid
c1475 Wall. viii 592.
On Sotheroun men the … Scottis thai ster
1513 Doug. xi xii 25.
Full ardent wolx and awfull forto se The men byrnand to ioyn in the melle And furour grew of stedis sterand on stray
1600-1610 Melvill 125.
I … luikit for na thing, day for day, but steiring upe of sum tumult … But Mr. Andro, with ane heroicall spreit, the mair they stirit and bostit, the mair he strak with that twa-eagit sword

b. With non-material subject: To happen, take place.(a) a1603 Anc. Prophecies 37.
Much sturt and strife shal steire in a while
1664 Misc. Hist. Soc. V 183.
Wee have very littell of news staeringe now
(b) 1627 Bk. Carlaverock II 80.
I am sory that we haue nothing yit sturring worthie to aquent ȝowr Lordship

14. To (begin to) act, bestir oneself, to do something. Also const. to do.(1) c1420 Wynt. viii 2474.
As werde off were made thame to stere. Be slawchtyr and be herschype then At wndyre ware haldyn the Inglis men
14.. Acts I 23/2.
Quhasa it chalangys eftir … and he na sterys na motis in the forsaide tyme he sall nevir mare be herde
a1500 Henr. Test. Cress. 469.
Fortoun is fikkill, quhen scho beginnis and steiris
a1500 Prestis of Peblis 214 (Asl.).
And efter that within twenty ȝere His sone getis wp, ane stalwart man to stere
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 204/12.
Bewar quhome to thy counsale thow discure … Ane freind may be thy fo as fortoun steiris
1513 Doug. xi Prol. 5.
Weill auchtyn eldris exemplis ws to steir Tyll hie curage, all honour till ensew
1535 Stewart 20909.
Fergus did remane Still in Denmark … Stone still he la and schupe nocht for to steir
1540 Lynd. Sat. 815.
Steir nocht, bruder, bot hald ws still, Till we haif hard quhat be his will
1570 Sat. P. x 308.
Na theif durst steir, thay did him feir so soir
1570 Sat. P. xi 63.
Gedaliah quhen thow did steir, To vicis all thow rang the bell
(b) 1606 Crim. Trials II 504.
He … puttis the toune and cuntry in sic ane fray, that nene durst stirr
1666-74 Fraser Polichron. 295.
Fy, my Lord, sturr or Mackdonnell will carry the honnour of the day
(2) 1572-5 Diurn. Occurr. 66.
Never ane man … sterit to defend thair provest and baillies

b. Const. with, aganist (someone). 1598 Marischal Coll. Rec. 101.
Item out of freres glen [etc.] … 3 lib. He was alwayes readie him self to pay bot he sturred with tyrannis alledging he might haive gottin … a discharge of the whole anvel
1604-31 Craig i 35.
Vrania Klaius sturs with Strephon still to striue
c1650 Spalding II 159.
And yit he wold so stur aganist him, and so behave him self wnder trust, as bred gryt greif to the King

c. To (begin to) rise for the purposes of military action, against, also, once, in defence of, established authority.(1) c1420 Wynt. iii 22.
The kyng off Moab … Had wndyr hym in subjection The folk off Israell … Quhyll Ayot … begowth to stere
c1420 Wynt. viii 4407.
In the north cwntra … The Erle Dawy wes sterand, And occupyid all that land
1560 Rolland Seven S. 4927.
All natiounis richt cruellie thay dantit … Quhill that it come to sic het point of weir That all natiounis in thair contrair did steir
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5054.
Quhat land aganis them steir[is] With all defence, and cruell fait of weiris
a1585 Arbuthnot in Maitl. Q. 94/151.
Debora rewlit Juda … Quhen men wes sueir & durst not steir Bot lurkit lidderlie
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 57.
The lords of the queene's factioun were steering, and dang out the imposit keeparis from certane housses of strenth
1600-1610 Melvill 265.
Nochtwithstanding of the Lord's judgments that yeir upon Papists yit … altho cut and deadlie woundit in divers partes [they] nevertheles war ever steiring
(b) 1567 Sat. P. v 93.
Ȝour brether of the nobill race With all meiknes desyre concur And your querrell in this cace Quhilk I dout not will be ane spur So that your pride cause thame not stur
c1630 Highland P. II 271.
All the inhabitants would sturre in his fawours
1643 Baillie II 74.
c1650 Spalding II 61.
That we, the Scottis, sould not stur, nor ryss, nor meddill, in the English bussines
1650 Lamont Diary 20.
The malignants to ioyne with them, wha, about this tyme, beganne to sturre
(2) 1527 Armstrong Hist. Liddesdale I 242.
[The inhabitants of the country] did not arrise, assemble, or stere with him for the defence of the same

15. To exhibit displeasure or resistance (to (with, at) a state of affairs, etc.). 1567 Sat. P. vii 152.
Ȝea thocht it war ane king for to depose For certaine crymis, I think the subiectis may … Rather than lat ane haill countrie decay Thay sould not sturre, thocht sum men wald say nay
1558-66 Knox II 294.
The reullaris of the courte … began to sturr and grudge that any thing should be consulted upoun without thair advises
1558-66 Knox II 432.
Gif the scharpnes of the terme offendit you I haif nocht inventit that phrase of speich but haif leirnit it out of Godis scriptour; for these wordis I find spokin unto Paul [etc.] … Mark thir wordis, my Lord, and sture nocht at the speiking of the Holie Goist
1569-73 Bann. Memor. 296.
Sir James Balfoure … gave in a long scrole to the lordis of the articles of the parliament, that he mycht be restored to all thingis etc., whairwith mony sturreth
a1578 Pitsc. I 290/23.
Schawand how Bischope Androw Forman had gatherit all the substance of Scottland into his handis be his legatis-schip and caussit the Duike to sture at him quhill he gaif ower certane beniffices wnto the Duike
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. 44b.
Certane of Christis auin disciplis quha sturrit at his vordis, saying … Thir vordis ar hard
1586 Calderwood IV 546.
For the Lord forbid that ever it sould come in our minds to thinke that his Majestie sould fall in the smallest part … of thy … mischanceteis … I sturre and uge to make the suppositioun
1592 Warrender P. (SHS) II 184.
Incaise the king wald stur at this promise our cousing John may get it subscrivit insteid of ane uther signature

III. To stere up.

16. To arouse (a person, his heart, etc.) to enthusiasm, anger, etc.; to encourage or inspire; to arouse to action; to incite to wrongdoing.(a) 1567 G. Ball. 12.
With Thy faith, my spirite vp steir
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 22.
Nowther honour nor commoun weill sterit ȝow up than bot rather [etc.]
1573–4 St. A. Kirk S. 389.
Johne Sourdie accused of keping of Ȝwilday … being chargit that he sterit up the uthir brethrin accused for the said caus … denyis the sam
a1578 Pitsc. I 53/22.
Persaiffing the chancelar boustert wpe and steirit wpe be his freindis to his heavie damnage
1590-1 R. Bruce Serm. 5.
The word leads us to Christ be the ear; the sacraments … be the eye … For that doctrine man be maist effectuall and moving that walkens and steirs up moniest of the outward senses
c1590 Fowler II 14/23.
My aduersar steared vp with enragit affectioun, … thocht to bereaue me of my lyf
1596 Dalr. I 202/34.
War present verie monie borne of Scottis blude, quha war steiret vp throuch the cuming and fame of King Fergus, steiret vp, I say, frome al cuntreyes and places neirhand
1596 Dalr. II 95/15.
To steir vp the king of Scotis and ernistlie persuade him to thretne weiris
1596 Dalr. II 397/1.
Sum notable clattireris … quha steirit vpe the rude peple … with thair … glaiket preichings
1597–8 Crim. Trials II 31.
Affirming the religioune to be in danger … and be that policie haifing convocatt and steirit vp your associattis, to the number of four or fyve hundreth men, with jakis [etc.]
(b) a1546 G. Wishart in Misc. Wodrow Soc. 13.
Except we be elluminat, styred up and mounted, by the grace of Chryst
1563 G. Hay Confutation Abbot Crosraguel 14b.
We … use them to inflame and stirre up our dul hartes
1596–1600 Warrender P. (SHS) II 421.
The people … being stirrit up be sum seditious heids
1600-1610 Melvill 65.
Andro Heriot … partlie of intemperat disposition, and partlie … be the collage mislykers stired upe, cam [etc.]
1646 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 473.
The minister is to stirre up such as are lasie and train up such as are weak
1651 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 641.
Lett ministers, as the messingers of the Lord, sture up others
1694 Misc. Spald. C. II lxix.
The contrivance would seem evidently factious, to stirr up and animat all such as are disaffected against the government both civil and eclesiastick

b. Const. un(to), for an end or purpose or in a state or action.(1) Arundel MS 248/284.
Grant that the angell … steir me vp ythandlie to vertiusnes
1587 Aberd. Council Lett. I 36.
For the executioun quhairof he hes instigat and steirit up Wm. Leslie [etc.]
c1590 Fowler II 68/14.
That fasting is apointit … to steare vs vp to mair feruent prayer
1596 Dalr. I 129/8.
Eftir vnfreindlie flyteng, baith the parties war steiret vp to fechteng
1618 Crim. Trials III 450.
Steiring vp his hienes subiectis to mislyking, seditioun, or vnquyetnes
a1634 Forbes Rec. 520.
So sall steir up in every flock, some for invasion, some for defence quhairupon may follow shedding of blood
1642 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. II 669.
His father did … steir up his sone to such vnhonest dealling
(b) 1616–17 Misc. Hist. Soc. X 110.
The pastor shall not suddenlie give the bread out of his hand, bot by a discret retention stirre up them who ar neerest him to a devout and reverent ressaving
1660 S. Ronaldshay 32.
The minister touched at lenth upone the mater to stirre up the people unto the dewty of thanksgiving
1703 Rothesay Par. Rec. 173.
The elders … to be watchfull … over the people and stire them up by their good example … to the discharge of all Christian duties
(2) 1560 Rolland Seven S. 7182.
Than scho began to talk of sum glaidnes, And steir the king vp in sum mirrines
c1590 Fowler II 43/6.
Sum, quhome God steare vp in opponing thame against his tyrannie

c. Const. to do (something).(a) 1561 Q. Kennedy in Knox VI 160.
Knox and diverse utheris, malhereux precheouris to the congregatioun, sterit up with zele but knowledge, to wrak ane grete part of the policy of this realme
1570 Leslie 36.
The Duik … stered up King Henry to pas in Ingland
c1600 Montg. Suppl. iv 51.
Lyke as it is the lizairtis kynd Of mannis face to pray hir fude, So nature still steris vp my mynd To wew ȝour peirles pulchritude
1621 Reg. Privy C. XII 424.
And sua to steir the people up to exclame aganis it, thay haif … raised … the pryces of thair bootis and shoone
1622-6 Bisset I 25/20.
He faithfullie promesed … to follow thair resolutioun, quhilk steirit up & moved thame, to be the mair diligent
(b) 1580 Facs. Nat. MSS III lxx.
Manie are styrred wp by Satan … to … wse the holie sacramentis in the kirk deceatfully
1655 Mouswald Kirk S. 9 Dec.
They stir up thair familie to woorship

d. Const. aganis, etc. (a person or persons).(a) 1556 Lauder Off. Kings 211.
God sall steir vpe nationis Aganis ȝour generationis
1582 Misc. Spald. C. II 338.
He … hes drawin fra me my awin bairnis and sterit thame vp in my contrair
1596 Dalr. I 272/25.
Brudie … sent legatis … to Edmie king of Britannie, quhairthrow he steiret him wp against the Scotis
(b) 1586 Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 49.
The practisaris alreddie stirred wpp against hir lywe had proponed [etc.]
a1651 Calderwood II 474.
These calumneis … aggredged to stirre up the subjects aganist the regent

17. To raise up, bring to prominence or notice (a person or persons who will fulfil a particular function). Also const. in authoritie or to do (something).(1) 1568 Lyndesay Pref. (STS) 403.
To call vpon Him: that He will rais and steir up mony Dauid Lyndesayis
1594 Charteris Wall. Pref. 165.
The eternall God behaldand … the hurtis & sichis of the oppressit, did steir vp amangis vs, this our William Wallace
1600-1610 Melvill 7.
The Lord steirit upe a young man indewing him with singular graces and setting the cairfull affectioun of his hart to supplie my absence
a1605 Birrel Diary 32.
That God wald steir up ma Bothuells nor ane that wes ma enimies to him nor Boduell if he … faught not Godis quarrell
(2) 1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 152.
The miserable ignorant sterit up in authoritie
(3) 1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 152.
To steir hym up to be ane … rewlar of Christis floke
1562-3 Winȝet I 52/3.
An wngodly and wickit peple sterit vp to be Godis scurge, for a tyme aboue his welbeluifit peple
1562-3 Winȝet I 62/4.
Lat him be persuadit that … God … sall steir wp in his contrare strangar kempis … than I am to [etc.]
1568 Lyndesay Pref. (STS) 399.
In all agis and in all nationes it hes plesit God … to rais and steir vp his prophetis and seruandis … to repreif the generationis
1570 Sat. P. xiv 54.
This thing maist eirnistly I implorde That … thow steir vp one For to reuenge his cause, O Lord

b. To recreate or bring into being once again (an office or function). 1558-66 Knox in a1651 Calderwood III 533.
The office of the apostle, of the evangelist and of the prophet … now have ceisit in the kirk of God except quhen He pleasit extraordinarly … to steir sum of them up againe

18. To arouse, excite, inspire (a feeling, action, etc.); to incite (trouble); specif. to exacerbate or intensify (an old situation, etc.) or bring about (a new one).(a) c1520-c1535 Nisbet Prol. Rom. 322/21.
Vnbeleif … stearis wp lust vnto ewill outwarde werkis
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Prol. Rom. 332/26.
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 142/31.
The heresy of Ecolampadius, quhilk vas sterit vp first be ane callit Berengarius
1561 Q. Kennedy Compendious Ressonyng (ed.) 180 (G).
The Sone off Gode … quha … hes steirrit vpe ȝour wnderstanding
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 33.
To banneis peace and steir up troubles
1581 Acts III 232/2.
The commwnitie of the burgh of Perth without ony ground or gude reassone sterit vpe ane questioun aganis the said burgh of Dundie
1594 Crim. Trials I ii 336.
Furnist with money to steir vp and prosequute a publict wear
1596 Dalr. I 110/32.
That I rathir steir nocht vp than mitigat the … auld rancour … against the Catholiks
1596 Dalr. II 99/21.
A new fyr kendlet the alde col, a new strife steiret vp the alde diskyndnes
a1599 Rollock Wks. I 433.
That thairby the true sense of Goddis mercie may be steired up in thy hart
c1610 Jok Uplandis Newis 15b.
Confessing from our hartis our blindnes steired vp on [pr. vpon] pryd to goe soe long one be our selffis seiking our owin distructione
1619 Sel. Biog. I 120.
That thou dimm not the light of God but [that] thou may steir up the gift whilk God hes given thee … and shyne clearly
(b) 1619 Sel. Biog. I 120.
That gift must be nourished, as the apostle directs Timothy to stirr up the gift that is given him
1644 Baillie II 135.
This necessare peremptorness did stir up humours in the Admirall

19. In fig. context: To agitate (coal). c1590 Fowler I 156/12.
Love that proudlye dothe me thrall, Quha all the dayes and night, but chainge or choyse, Steirs vp the coales of fyre vnto my fall

20. To alter, change (into something better), to improve. 1560 Rolland Seven S. Prol. 150.
I thocht it best my pen for till assay This lytill buke in verse for to compyle … Gif I culd fynd ony gude wyle or way To steir it vp into ane better style

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"Ster v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2022 <>



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