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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Polit(e, -eit, adj. Also: -yt(e. [Late ME and e.m.E. polyt (c 1450), pollyte (1497), polished, neat, elegant, L. polītus, p.p. of polīre to polish. Cf. Polist ppl. adj.]

1. Polished, burnished. = Polist ppl. adj. 1. c1475 Wall. ix 1082.
The Scottis … Throu polyt platis with poyntis persyt thair
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 217.
A diademe maist plesandlie polite [L. polyte]
a1585 Maitl. Q. xl 89.
Ȝour teith lyik yuore baine poleit

2. transf. and fig. Polished, refined, elegant; embellished, beautified. a. Of language.Chiefly polit termis.(1) a1500 Henr. Fab. 3 (Makc.).
Polit termys of sueit rethory Ar rycht plesand one to the eyr of man
Ib. 2716 (Bann.).
Fals pervertaris of the lawis Quhilk vndir poleit termes falset myngis
Id. Test. Cress. 241. 1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 836 (L).
Ȝone is … the court rethoricall Of polit termys sang poeticall
Id. Æn. i Prol. 34 (E) (see Polist ppl. adj. 2 b). 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 59.
The poleit termes ar pullit, euerilk one, Be thir forenamit poetis of prudence
1568 Skeyne Descr. Pest 3.
Expressit in vulgar langage without poleit or affectionat termis
(2) c1552 Lynd. Mon. 5870.
Ȝe brether of religioun … Ȝour polit payntit flatterye

b. Of a park or garden. 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 641.
Falkland … Thy polyte park, vnder the Lowmound Law

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"Polit adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 23 Jun 2024 <>



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