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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.

Properté, Propirté, -tie, n. Also: propyr-, propre-, propper-; propar-, propur-; propri-, propry- and -tee, -tey, -tte, -ty(e; propireté, -etie. [ME and e.m.E. properte (Manning), -irte (a 1350), -urté (a 1400); -tee, -tie, -ty; also proprete (Wyclif), -ryte (1398), appar. ‘ME or AF modification of OF proprieté' (OED) (1174 in Wartburg), L. proprietas, f. proprius own, proper. Cf. Proprieté n.]

1. The right (esp., the exclusive right) to the possession, use and disposal of a, chiefly material, thing; the fact of owning; proprietorship.Const. to (in, in-to) or of (the thing specified).In (in to) property, in full (and exclusive) possession or ownership.Of propertee, by way of exclusive right of possession.(1) c 1400 Newbattle Charter (Reg. H.).
Nor ȝeit the said abbot and monkis … sal tak to them ony rycht, properte or commonte, vithout the marches grantit to them
14.. Reg. Maj. c. 128.
Thar remanis nocht anent that tenement ony mut apone the properte
1474 Aboyne Rec. 17.
Of al rycht & clame propertie & possession als wele petitoury as possessoury we … sal be … excludit
a1500 Lufaris Compl. 47.
In hir [Fortune's] giftis is no propirtee
1505–6 Crim. Trials I i 47.
That the saide Donalde suld tak apone him the kingis propirte and to be Lord of the Ilis
1513 Acta Conc. Publ. Aff. 7. 1519 Reg. Episc. Morav. App. 391.
And that he haf na richt to … appropir the samyn be na way of propirte
1524 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I 389.
In the doume of propyrte gewin of the said landis
1599 (1600) Reg. Great S. 384/1.
As merche of propertie distinguisend the saidis landis [etc.]
1608 Dunferm. B. Rec. II 47.
Before Henrie claimed any richt of proppertie
1615 Aberd. B. Rec. II 322. a1633 Hope Major Pract. I 55.
The king may not quarrell their propertie … for any wther caus [etc.]
1681 Stair Inst. ii i §28, etc.
The main real right is property, standing in the middle betwixt community and possession, which precede it, and servitude and pledge, which follow it
1684 Lauder Notices Affairs II 541.
What was few-ferme, and what was property, deserved a different valuation
(2) 1379 Slater Early Sc. Texts No. 2.
Sa that nowthir I no myn ayres … may chalenge … outhir to possessioun or proprete to the forsaid thingis [etc.]
1407 Charter (Reg. H.) C.O. No. 32.
Swa that … nane … sall ask na haff rycht clayme possessioun na na properte of rycht … in or to the forsaid landys
1447 Edinb. Chart. 68. 1489 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 546.
1500 Ib. No. 633.
I … resigne … al rycht and clame of rycht propirte and possession that euir we had … in … the said landis
1529 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 102.
That bath the parteis … schaw thair rychtis, clames and propertteis thai have in to the said tenement
1558 Glasgow Prot. II 55. 1564 Liber Scon 208.
With all … entres propirte possessioun [etc.] … that I … may haue thairto
1619 (1621) Reg. Great S. 42/2.
With propertie and commountie in mos, mure, marres and utheris
1632 Cullen B. Rec. MS 6 June.
With all richt tytle off richt propertie and possessione quhilk thai … had [etc.] … thair to
(3) c1420 Wynt. iii 636.
Silvius … off the wode has propyrte
1489 Charter (Reg. H.) No. 546.
That it be leful to Dauid … to fre regres in and to property and possession of the saidis landis
1494 Acta Aud. 206/1.
To lat the properte of the saidis landis … to borghe to the said Alexander
1501 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 118.
That the sade Henry … wes be lauchtfull proces of recognicione accumin to the propirte of the sadis landis
1511–12 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 16. 1526 Reg. Privy S. I 527/2. 1533 Dunferm. Reg. Ct. 99.
The action … tuecheyng the … properte of ane mos
1545 Exch. R. XVIII 507.
Ane decrete … decerning … Matho, Erle of Lennax … to haif tynt his superiorite of … Uvir Dernlie … and decernit … me to … hald my propirtie of the samin of our soverane lady, his immediat superior
1570–1 Canongate Ct. Bk. 299.
Protestand for dome of propirtie of the saidis baklandis
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Breve (see Commonté n. 1). 1623 Stirling Kirk S. in Misc. Maitl. C. I 465.
That the licience … sall not infer to the procureris … any propirtie or kyndnes of bureall roume
1632 Cullen B. Rec. MS 6 June.
So that the propertie and superioritie of the same may be consolidat
(b) 1555 Irons Leith II 603.
All and haill his superioritie of the town of Leyth, togedder with the proppertie of the Linx thairof
1633 Swintons App. clxxxiv.
The saids lands … propperteis and superioriteis of the samen
(4) 1410 Red Bk. Menteith II 281.
The said erle … sal gif heritablely … twa hundreth markis worth of land in to properte and demain
c1420 Wynt. iv 583.
Darius tuk the gouernale Off all Pers in propirte
1438 Montgomery Mem. 29.
The forsayd Alexander sall geff … als mikyll as the ald astent is in propirte in a yher
1443 Highland P. II 178.
Sr John … sal infeff and gife … al his landis of Glastyr … in propirte and tenandry with the pendiclis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 2694 (Bann.).
Quhair wrang and reif suld dwell in properte
1482 Peebles Chart. 29.
The wrangwis occupatioun in propirte and sawing of the commoun of Cademure
1484–5 Ib. 30.
Twiching the possessioun of the saide communite clamit in propirte be thame
a1500 Bk. Chess 2032.
Quhen euery man has place in properte
1496 Acta Conc. II 15.
The quhilkis landis … pertenis [not] til the sade lord … in propirte nor superiorite
c1500 Harl. MS 4700 295 a.
The quhilk … place is … [his] land in propirtie or wedsetting or maling
1553 Reg. Cupar A. II 131.
That the croft of land … pertenit in all tymmis to cum in propirte to the saidis George landis
1580 Reg. Privy C. III 312. 1582 Ib. 501.
Landis … pertening to the said David, Erll of Craufurd, … in propertie and tenandrie
1615 Aberd. B. Rec. II 322. 1683 Lauder Notices Affairs I 419.
Pershued for the few-dueties of his oune lands possessed by him in property
1683 Martine Reliq. Divi Andreae 124.
All the lands they have holden in propertie and proper communitie within the regalitie
1456 Hay I 107/25.
Naples … haldis of the pape in propertee of subjectioun
(b) 1548 Boyd Fam. P. No. 27 (6 Aug.).
To remane wyth … his airis in propurtie and in heretage for ever
(5) 1456 Hay I 277/18.
New men of armes that has nane armes of propertee, may … tak armes [etc.]
a1500 Henr. Fab. 217 (Bann.).
For landis haif we none of propirtie [Asl. in properte]
(6) personified 1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 820.
Sanct Syluester … Pope … first consentit to the mariage Off propirtie
1567 G. Ball. 211.
Ȝe partit with dame Pouertie, Tuke Propertie to be ȝour wyfe

b. One's rights as an individual. — 1675 Wodrow Hist. (1828) II 289.
Imprisonment … deprives him of liberty, which is the best and noblest part of property
1675 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. IV 444.
The said lord … did … complain of the searching of [= for] the said Mr. Jon as a great breach of the propperty and liberty of the subject

c. spec. In the Roman liturgy, the ‘proper’ (of a saint). See Proper adj. 2 e. — 1555 Crail Ch. Reg. 65.
Ane new legeand of parchment in text hand, contenand the temporale, properte and comone of sanctis

2. Real, or moveable, property; goods, wealth; (one's) lands, esp. land retained for one's private use; (one's) belongings.To be property to, to belong to as a possession.Freq., in opposition to tennandry or Commonté (Commoun), and to Casualté and/or Collectorie.Annexed property is opposed to old property in Purves; but cf. the quot. for 1596.(1) a1400 Leg. S. xxxi 205.
Na wald haf na properte, Al-set thai ware of hee degre
c1475 Wall. iv 204.
As off ryches he held na propyrte
1480 Acta Conc. I 58/2.
The said landis ar nocht of the propirte nor pertinence of the landis of Raucheburne
1489 Acts (1597) i 77 b.
Of the kingis revocation and in-bringing of his propertie of his servandes fees. … Touching the article of the kingis propertie for the honorable sustentation … of his house
1497 Acta Conc. II 92.
Till avouch the sade waist land with the perell of law as thare propirte in commone
1505 Lennox Mun. 172.
The quhilk [acres] sal be … layd to and allangis the said Lord Erskynnis propirte
1511 Reg. Privy S. I 343/1.
1530 Lynd. Test. Pap. 832. 1531 Acta Conc. MS XLIII 140.
Or thai suld tyne … ane fute braid of the propirte of this realme thai … aventour of thar lyvis
1554 Stirling B. Rec. I 61.
Intromettar with the property and casuality pertening to the community of the said burgh
1556 Edinb. B. Rec. II 249.
The said myln and hous propirte thairof
1564 Riddell Tracts 101.
That all woddis of the propirte of the said nyne merk land be dewidit [etc.]
1579 Reg. Privy S. VII 328/2.
His hienes proper landis … of Linlighgwschyre, being ane pairt and propertie of the patrimonie of his majesteis crown
1587 Acts III 446/1.
All materis of … trublance in properties
1662 Decis. Lords G. 15.
William Home … was infeft in the property by the said Alexander
(b) 1680 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 20 Feb.
So as the profite of the cattell and annuelrent of the money be furthcoming to her as her owne propiretie
(2) 1456 Liber Aberbr. II 89.
And fra thir markis … to be propirte to the said lord of Lorne
1538 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III 18.
All the south pairt to be property to Chapiltoun … and all the lef … to lye in commonty
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Recognition.
Lands … sauld be them heritably … ceasis to be propertie to them and becomes tennendrie immediatly halding of them and their aires
(3) 1464 Swintons App. xlvii.
The landis … clamyt … as tennandry of the erledome of Marche or propirte of the samyn
1466 Acta Aud. 4/2.
The said twa merkis worth of land … war bot tenandry to the saide Schir James and na proprete
1478 Acta Conc. I 5/1.
In the fee of the superiorite tenandryis and propirte of the said landis
1529 Reg. Privy S. II 10/2.
Bayth propirte and tenandry … quhilkis pertenit to the said umquhill [Fullartoun]
1542–3 Ib. III 2/1.
The gift of … all landis and annuell rent[is] propirte and tennandry with the pertinentis [etc.]
1552–3 Coll. Rebus Alban. 138. 1558 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 182. 1583–4 Reg. Privy C. III 636.
[The King had bestowed] the haill earldome with propirtie and tenandrie [on the earl]
1654 Retours I Inq. Spec. Ayr (459).
The landis and barony of Cumnock, as well propertie as tennandrie
(4) 1450 Reg. Episc. Brechin. I 143.
That … ȝe … mak the boundis and the marchis off the landis off Menmur bayth off propirtye and commontye
1539 Peebles Chart. 57.
Thare landis, baith commoun and propirte
1557 Inverness Rec. I 9.
Ane fald of land … pertening to the commones in commonte suld nocht perting to tham as properte
1567 Crawford Mun. Invent. II 90 (5 May).
[They shall] occupy laubour and mannvir bayth be propertie and commontie and pastur thair gudis
1661 Old Ross-shire I 310.
The propertie and commontie to be above and below that place doune to the loning of 24 foot
1665 Peebles B. Rec. II 64.
That … huttes [be] cast in betuixt the propperties and commones to the water-fall
(5) 1489 Acts II 219/2 (see Casualté n.). 1524 Reg. Privy S. I 492/1.
xx merkis … ȝerelie … of the reddiest of the kingis casualteis or propirte
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV ii 52.
The … patrimonie of the crowne alsweill propirtie as casualitie
a1570-86 Maitland Maitl. F. clxxx 17.
Thy propirtie and casualiteis … Will … pay thi seruandis feis
a1578 Pitsc. I 176/30.
1681 Purves Revenue Crown 7.1567 Reg. Privy C. I 527 (see Collectorie n. 2). 1595 Purves Revenue Crown 8.
Unprofitable dispositiones out of the proppertie & collectorie
c 1610 Skene in Misc. Stair Soc. I 152.
That he shall nocht … mak any new dispositioun of his rentis, either of the propertie or collectorie
(6) 1596 Misc. Spottisw. C. II 375.
His maiesteis haill auld annexit propertie within the countreis of … Kyntyris
1681 Purves Revenue Crown 30.
Proppertie may be called two fold; the old proppertie & the annexed proppertie. The old proppertie is also twofold viz: first such landes as did propperly of old belong to the king, and were his propper heretage and sett to tennents. … 2o Such landes as are only for payment of yeirly few dewties
Ib. 31.
The annexed proppertie is also threefold. First, Customes. Secondly, Kirk landes. Thirdly, Forfaulted landes

3. An attribute or quality of a person, animal or thing; a distinctive quality.Goddys properte, (an) attribute peculiar to God.(1) 1375 Barb. i 234.
He, that ay has levyt fre, May nocht knaw weill the propyrte, The angyr na the wrechyt dome That is cowplyt to foule thyrldome
a1400 Leg. S. xlix 13.
& of this tale the proprete Ves mast that tyme of chastite
1456 Hay II 23/17.
As all thir properteis … pertenis till a knycht [etc.] … rycht sa is thare othir proprieteis pertenand to the saule
c1460 Alex. (Taym.) 10105.
And cheis thé men with all gud proparteis
a1500 Henr. Fab. 404 (Bann.).
So different thay [animals] bene in propirteis
c1475 Wall. ix 1941.
Thir properteys was knawin in to Frans
a1500 Colk. Sow i 28.
Thir thre peruerst propirteis [: leis = lose] I find in skars keping
1490 Irland Mir. I 26/29. 1556 Lauder Off. Kings 341.
Geue thay [your pastors] haue thir properteis, Thir gude conditionis and qualyteis
1562-3 Winȝet I 101/4. a1585 Maitl. Q. xxxv heading.
Ane contrapoysoun to the ballat falslie intitulit the properteis of gud wemen
1581-1623 James VI Poems I 78/17.
That it cummis not of ȝour awin inuentioun, quhilk is ane of the cheif properteis of ane poete
(b) c1420 Ratis R. 842.
That thai can throw condiscions ken Condiscions of thi qualiteis That growis to thaim as propriteis
Ib. 1119.
Ib. 1654.
1549 Compl. 11/26.
Quhen he hed … spyit the proportions & propreteis of nature of thir fife ladeis [etc.]
Ib. 158/12.
(2) 1456 Hay II 2/20.
All the said properteis of the … order
a1500 Henr. Fab. 120 (Bann.).
This ioly iasp hes properteis sevin
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1184 (Asl.).
Thus of the hell … Sum propertes I purpos to report
1513 Doug. Comm. i iii 75. 1528 Lynd. Dreme 756.
That precelland place … Quhose properteis wer lang for to indyte
a1561 Q. Kennedy Breif Tract. (ed.) 129/17.
Vil thow considder the propirteis of ane glorifyet body [etc.]
a1568 Scott xxxiii 21.
Thow lychtleis all trew properteis Off luve expres
a1578 Pitsc. I 252/12.
As for wther propertieis of hir [the ‘Great Michael’] Schir Androw Wode is my author
(3) c1420 Wynt. iv 376.
For the thyngis that is to be To wyt is Goddys propyrte
Ib. v 1951.

4. The characteristic or distinguishing quality of a person or thing; character; essence; (one's) nature. c1420 Ratis R. 1634.
Sympyll perfeccioune … at the last can na thing fynd That is perfyt of propertee
Ib. 1649.
The prophet … Sais … That halynes in eild suld bee Be kindly manis propretee
a1500 Henr. Fab. 786 (Bann.).
Wse drawis nature so in propertie Off beist and man that nedis thaj mon do As thai of lang tyme hawe hantit thame to
a1500 Bernardus 103.
It is aganys the wrechis properte To spende
1494 Loutfut MS 10 b.
The topasse the quhilk of hir propirte passis all precious stanis

b. Elixir of propertys. (Cf. F. élixir de proprieté a dye composed of myrrh, aloes and saffron (1685 in Wartburg).) — 1709 Old Ross-shire I 75.
A glass of the elixir of propertys

5. Only in Wynt.: Congruence with reality; ‘truth’; correctness.Cf. Proper adj. 3. c1420 Wynt. ii 1472.
And als the sawmpyll is rycht felle The propyrte thareoff to telle
c1420 Wynt. i 691.
Monstrys mony sere … That nane can wyt in propyrte Quhethyr thai man or best sulde be
Ib. ii 525.
And we mak kend in propyrte [W. richt properly] Quharoff ony kynd suld commyn be
Ib. 1354.
The bul … wes in propyrte Hyr awne stewart

6. With ref. to the use of language: a. The literal or strict sense (of a word or passage). b. Peculiarity of diction; idiom; the special character of (a) language.(1) c1420 Wynt. v 298.
Gyff men mycht wyth resowne all In propyrte a man hym call
Ib. 3446, vi 1998.(2) c1420 Wynt. viii 1663.
The fyrst Frawnkis [quotation] in propyrte All thus may wndyrstandyn be [etc.]
(3) 1513 Doug. i Prol. 121.
I the fowth of langage want Quhar as the cullour of his properte To kepe the sentens tharto constrenyt me
Ib. 397.
Quha haldis, quod he, of wordis the properteis Full oft the verite of the sentens fleys

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"Properté n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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