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

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
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Strenȝe, Strain(e, v.1 Also: strenȝhe, stren(y)e, streane, streneȝe-. P.t. also strenȝet, -eit, strenyeit, streinȝit, -eit. P.p. also streignyt, -ed, streinyed, strengȝeit, streyngned. [ME and e.m.E. streyn, stren- (Rolle), strayne (14th c.), streine (c1400), strain- (Caxton), OF estrain-, estrein-, stem of estraindre (1160 in Greimas) to bind tightly, clasp, squeeze, L. stringere to bind tightly, draw tight, tighten.]

1. tr. To constrain, force, compel (a person, their will, etc.) (to or to do something). Also (once) const. that and noun clause.(1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 1675.
With eger willis and scaldand Strenȝeand thare thocht [L. animos feruenti calore febricitare compellit]
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2160.
Sche … send him word & said that he Suld nocht presume … To duell … And so he strenȝeit passing his way [L. coactus est exulare] [etc.]
14.. Burgh Laws c. 18 (B).
Eftyr that the fewfermar streignyt thrw mystar wald sel the forsaid land
c1450 Cr. Deyng 204.
The deuill may strenȝe na man na ȝhit our-cum hyme, bot gyf it be his fre consent
c1475 Wall. v 684.
He tald … how luff him strenȝeit sar
1490 Irland Mir. II 53/27.
Men and women has fre will and liberte, that in thar gud werkis or euill may nocht be forsit na streinȝeit, bot wyrkis frelie
1493 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 317.
That scho wes nothir compellit na strenyeit nothir throwcht aw no dredour
1493–4 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 48.
Scho was compellit and strenyet throv aw of hir forsaid husband
1534 Bamff Chart. 62.
Thai … will not schaw the veritie thairof … bot gif thai be compellit and strained be the halie Kirk
a1538 Abell 122a.
Than his will is fre and nocht strenȝet
(2) 1515 Acta Conc. MS XXVII 5.
He was nocht coactit nor strenȝeit tharto
1533 Boece 546.
He remittit Johnne Balliol to Scotland … streneȝeing him till ane aith that contrare Ingland, he suld neuer move were thareeftir
1638 Protestation of General Assembly 18 Dec.
If any make difficulty to be arrested and finde soverty as law-will, they shall be streinyed thereto
(3) pres. a1400 Leg. S. v 295.
To strenȝe hym to sacrify
c1400 Troy-bk. i 146.
[The King] sall be of na powere To strenȝhe ws one syk manere To leue hys lande
1447 (1449–50) Reg. Great S. 71/1.
Eschetis and amerciamentis to rase and inbring, and for thaim to strenye if nede be al men and thair gudis … before quhatsumever juge or jugis [etc.] … to borow and bring again [etc.]
p.t. ?1438 Alex. i 1408.
He could fle fairly … Quhan neid him strenȝeit to hald his way
p.p. 1375 Barb. xii 248.
We for our lyvis … Ar strenȝeit in-to betaill for to stand
c1400 Troy-bk. ii 31.
Sene of necessyte he streyngned Was, to folow thare wyles feyned
14.. Burgh Laws c. 56 (B).
Burges vppoland dwelland ar nocht streigned to cum til vthyr courtys
1456 Hay I 94.
Folk may nocht be strenȝeit to mak weris
1530 Reg. Privy S. II 98/1. a1538 Abell 84a.
Henrik king of Ingland callit Malcolme to obedience for Cummirland Northumbirland & Huntintone & quhen he come he strenȝit him to pas with him in France aganis Ludowik 6
(4) 1446 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 106.
Me Patrik Nicholsone … to be moneist … to be lauchfully strenȝeit and compellit and be ald us and custum fundyne that [etc.]

b. tr. To extract by pressure, extort (money, testimony) (from another). 1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. ii xx 2 (1699) 230.
His Majesties advocat … should not be allowed to deal with the witnesses; for thereby he may strain from them what otherwise they would not depone
c1679 Kirkton Hist. 314.
When he or his friends … hade a mind to strain money from it [sc. the English parliament] … they spoke of a warre with France

2. To press hard, squeeze tightly, grasp. a1400 Leg. S. xxii 646.
& Sancte Laurens … Come … & be the areme can hyme strenȝe [Thriis] rycht sayre and increly
1494 Loutfut MS 17a.
The bere is a best that haldis fast & strenȝeis & contractis it at he takis
1513 Doug. viii iv 169.
He hym in armys claspyt, And so strenȝeis hys throt, furth chirt hys eyn, Hys hals worth dry of blud
1513 Doug. xi xiv 66.
The … egill … The eddir … in hir feit strenȝeis sa fast That oft hyr punsys outthrow the skyn dois thrast
15.. Clar. ii 1763.
Syn … his hand scho streinȝit
15.. Clar. iii 239.
He, that with melancholie was anoyit, Streinȝit hir hand and micht na wirds out bring
1595 Duncan App. Etym.
Stringo, to streane, or wring

b. To tighten (one's grip). 1513 Doug. xi xiv 72.
All thocht scho [sc. the serpent] wreill and sprynkill bend or skyp Evir the sarar this ern strenys hys gryp

c. To strike with a glancing blow; to graze. 1513 Doug. x vi 124.
Ȝyt with the dynt the gret Achates thee He hurt and strenȝeit has a litill wee

d. Of a snake: To bite. 1494 Loutfut MS 31a.
Aspide is a maner of vennemus serpent … and … quhen he strenȝeis ony with his teith that man suellis sua quhill he tynis the liff

3. ? To draw oneself up to one's full height, ? to sit erect. a. reflex. b. intr. Cf. Strek(e v. 6 b.a. ?1438 Alex. i 1538.
Than in stirroppis sturdelly He streinȝeit him [F. s'afiche]
b. ?1438 Alex. i 1176.
His armes he bare iolely And strenȝeit in his sterapis stythly

4. tr. To restrain, control. 1460 Hay Alex. 1521.
He set his spere and strenȝeit fast his hors And strak him quyte throw scheild hawbrek and cors
1460 Hay Alex. 3171.
[He] strenȝeit his steid and schupe ane cours of were
1460 Hay Alex. 15181.
Thus lufe me strenȝeis bot cowartdise na dar

5. To constrict painfully (with a cord, etc.). a1508 Kennedy Pass. Christ 379.
Thai strenȝeit thai faire handis with a string, Quhill his fingeris, quhilk quhit wes, wox bla

6. To hurt, afflict, distress. c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 21/158.
Every straik … That ever did strenȝe thi fair flesche innocent
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 198/28.
Off wyne … Thay drank twa quartis … Off drowth sic exces did thame strene
1513 Doug. vi ix 58.
In quhat punytioun, panys, and distres, Beyn sawlis ȝondir strenȝeit, prophetes?
1513 Doug. ix v 160.
The ymage of hys faderly piete … hym strenys swa that he Wepand answerd [etc.]
a1538 Abell 17a.
He is strenȝet with seiknes and the pane gefwis him terror
a1568 Bann. MS 76b/37.
Think … how deid Strenȝeis mankynd and garris him law doun bow
a1570-86 Maitl. F. 363/116.
Luif hes ȝow streinȝeit with litle pane

b. To punish. a1538 Abell 48a.
Paip Pelage … ordanit at herritikis and scismatikis suld be strenȝet be seculair powar

7. To bind fast; to confine (a person, his hands) in bonds. 1513 Doug. ii vii 78 (Sm.).
Baith hir tendir handis War strengȝeit sair, yboundin hard with bandis
1513 Doug. vi vi 22.
For this ilk Hercules, with his stalwart handis, The gryme wardane of hell strenit in bandis

b. To fasten, attach firmly. Also fig. c1500 Coll. St. Salvator 158.
Item ane salter befor the Licentiatis stal strenyeit
c1520-c1535 Nisbet Acts xvi 24.
He put thame into the ynner presoun, and strenyeit the feet of thame in a tre
fig. c1500-c1512 Dunb. Tua Mar. W. 59.
It is agane the law of luf, … Togiddir hartis to strene, that stryveis with uther

8. To draw tight, tighten (bonds). 1513 Doug. iv Prol. 37.
Thow chene of luif, ha benedicite! How hard strenis thi bandis every wycht?

9. To remove (an object) from liquid by straining it. Only in the phrase to straine a gnat, after Matth. xxiii 24.For an explanation of this phrase, and the later (originally, erroneous) alternative version to strain at a gnat, see OED Strain v.1 14 e and 21. 1622 Scot Course of Conformity 116.
He that can swallow a camel in matters of God … will straine a gnat in … his own affaires

10. To exert to the utmost, force to extreme effort. 1646 Aberd. Council Lett. III 47.
We are persuadit that … [they] will strain the bensall of thair witts to find out some remedie

11. To rid (solid matter) of liquid by pressing or squeezing. 16… Nat. Lib. MS 22.2.11, 4th last p.
Take thes herbes and putt thaim amongst tuo gallans of water and let them sok amongst the water upon the fyre fyve or sixe houres but let it not boylle then take it of, and strained [? = strain it] throughout amongst the water [etc.]

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"Strenȝe v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 18 May 2024 <>



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