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

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First published 1986 (DOST Vol. VI).

Quench(e, v. Also: quens(c)he, qwench, qwensh, quensht, quence, (quent); quynch(e; quainsh; quhench. P.t. and p.p. quenchit, -eit, -ed, etc.; also quencht, quainsht; quent, queynt. [ME quenche(n (a1200), also cwenkenn (Orm), e.m.E. quench, also quence (1581), p.t. ME cwen(ch)te (13th c.), quein(c)te (c1290), whenched (c1325), ME and e.m.E. quenched (14th c.), p.p. ME queynte (c1320), ykuenct (Ayenbite), ME and e.m.E. quenched (14th c.), e.m.E. also quencht, OE *cwęncan.]

1. tr. To put out, extinguish, douse (fire, flame or something burning); also to quench out.(1) 1492 Myll Spect. 279/7.
How beit he maid all the fyris in Rome to be quenchit & put out
1531 Bell. Boece (M) I 328.
Vtheris maid thame to quence [1821 slokin] the fire
1558-66 Knox III 213.
Burning with fire whilk never sal be quencheit
1596–7 Misc. Spald. C. II 64.
1600-1610 Melvill 85.
c1650 Spalding I 231.
The people gatheris, bot culd not get it quenshit
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. III 89.
1666 Lamont Diary 192.
[The great fire of London] being qwenched, itt bracke owt againe … and was qwenched the nixt day
(2) 1513 Doug. xi v 42.
Observand weill the gledis half owt quent [Ruddim. queynt]
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5013.
Incontinent the fire was quenchit out
Ib. 5860.

b. fig. or in fig. contexts: cf. sense 5. 1570 Bann. Memor. 23.
As the princes … wha hes best meanes … to quenche this heat begone amongis us
1573 Davidson Sat. P. xli 54.
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 245 (W).
To quenche it [sc. the fire of love] or [L. To quenche me soir] I was devorit
1587 Bk. Univ. Kirk II 724.
And how can the wrath of God alreadie kindled be any wayes quenched
c1590 J. Stewart 226 §107.
Lous Lecherie to quenche hir fyrie low [etc.]
c1590 Fowler I 70/93.
Cupidois golden darts That … waisted so mens harts Through outwart blast of beautie brawe, with honestie quyte quainshed [: stanched]
Ib. 75/238.
To quensht within the mynde of man all mad and rageing flame
Ib. 144/10.
Ib. 211/13. Ib. 249/12.
Ib. 380/56.
Quencht (p.p.)
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxvii 14. 1581-1623 James VI Poems II 69/3.

2. To extinguish, cool, (heat). Also fig.Also with out. 1513 Doug. iv Prol. 120.
Lyke as the pacient hes heyt of our gret fors And in ȝong babbys warmnes insufficient And into agyt [Bann. aige it] failȝeis and is out quent
Ib. vi iii 136.
Efter … the gret heit of flambis quynchit [Sm. quhenchit, Ruddim. quenchit] was
1597 Misc. Spald. C. I 136.
That he micht haue gottn watter to haue quencit his birning heat
?c1675 J. Gordon Hist. I 153.
The Commissioner was putt to moderate the Moderator and quenshe the heate of the chollericke Assemblye

3. To extinguish, to put out or to cause to fade (away) (a light, or light). 1513 Doug. iv ii 60.
Eftir all wes voydyt, and the licht of day Ay mair and mair the moyn quynchit [v.rr. quenchit] away
Ib. xii Prol. 222.
And I sall quynch [Ruddim. quench] the lycht

4. intr. Of fire, heat or a light: To go out, be extinguished. Also fig.Also with out and furth. 1513 Doug. iv xii 121.
And tharwithall the natural heyt outquent And with a puft of aynd the lyfe furthwent
Ib. xiii Prol. 29.
The lyght begouth to quynchyng [Ruddim. quenschyng, Sm. quynkill] owt and faill, The day to dyrkyn
Ib. 163.
Furth quynchyng [Ruddim. quencheing] gan the starris on be on
1568 Haddington Corr. 271.
Seing this fyre abill to quence and slokin and amitie incres of new betuix vs

5. tr. To put an end to, destroy, crush, stifle, dispel a. something undesirable. 1513 Doug. vi viii 102.
And hir ald schame Tharthrou to quynche [Ruddim., Sm. quenche, Ruthv. quent] and recovyr gud name
c1550 Rolland Ct. Venus iii 573.
That greit vengeance scho culd not quenche nor pair
a1568 Scott i 143.
To quenche thir quent calamiteis so cowth
1570 Leslie 249.
Sindre insurrectionis … quhilkis was quenched and set doun
a1578 Pitsc. I 89/6.
Thir dangerus callamitieis quhilk lay nocht in our powar to quenche and slokin
Ib. 287/25.
His mallice nor invy was never quenched
1585 Perth B. Ct. 31 May.
Quhen plesis God to quensche this pest
1586 James VI in Rait & Cameron King James's Secret 113.
Her death be lykliehoode will … rather stirre up nor quenche factions
1587 Elgin Rec. II 7.
Considering the wyce of slander abunding … and that the samen can not be quenchit without severe punesment
1587–8 Aberd. Council Lett. I 23.
1605 Glasgow B. Rec. I 229. 1614 Lett. & St. P. Jas. VI 221.
Readie to rase … maa broylis his alane, nor tuentie guid and wyse men will gett weill quenched

b. something desirable or admirable. c1590 Fowler I 94/230.
That quainsht thy hope and esperance
Ib. 118/16.
1596 Dalr. II 397/5.
To truble the hail cuntrie, quench al quyetnes [etc.]

6. To quench (thirst); to satisfy (appetite, lust). 1581 Burne Disput. in 1573-1600 Cath. Tr. 161/19.
That in auld men … the spirit of fornicatione … enterit vith sik inordinat lust that skarselie could it be quenshit ather be vyf or hyre voman
a1605 Montg. Ch. & Slae 1375 (Wr.).
I know no liquor … To quench his deadly drouth
1591-2 Rob Stene 3.
[He] Could not content his emptie kyte, Nor quenche his greidy appetyte

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"Quench v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 29 Sep 2022 <>



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