Show Search Results Show Browse

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

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).

Reduce, v. Also: ra-, ri- and -duc, -dus-; -duiss. P.p. -duc(e)it, etc.; also -duce; -ducat; -dust. [ME and e.m.E. reduce(n (c 1400), -duse (a 1450), -duyse (Caxton), L. redūcere to bring back, restore, replace, f. re- and dūcere to lead, bring. Cf. F. reduire (14th c.) and obs. F. reducer (15th c.).] tr. To reduce, in various senses.

1. To recall or bring back (a concept or non-material thing) to (in, into, unto, onto) the mind or memory.Const. simple or clause obj.(1) c1400 Troy-bk. ii 2973.
Redusand to his fresche memore His deidly dreme, he saw before
?a1500 Remembr. Passion 138.
Than sall cum the ewill spreitis, redusand the synnis to thi mynd
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. 1280.
Howbeit I may not euerie circumstance Reduce perfitelie in remebrance
Id. Æn. x v 167.
Reduce ȝe now onto [Ruddim. into] ȝour mynd, ilkane, The worthy actis of ȝour elderis bygane
1532 Douglas Corr. 349.
Reduce to ȝour memory the … luffying wordis of ȝour humanite
1562-3 Winȝet II 17/34.
It sal suffice me … to hef præparit to me self this memorial, quhilk pece and pece reduceing to memorie, I intend [etc.]
1587-99 Hume 69/49.(2) 1550 Reg. Privy C. I 98.
Gilbert Erle of Cassillis … reducit unto thair rememberance how thai … plesit to do him that honour
1558-66 Knox I 437.
It will pleise your grace reduce to your remembrance, how [etc.]
1587-99 Hume 119/116.
Reduce in memory what dangers … thou hes ben in

2. To bring back or lead (a person) (to (in, within, unto) a place or condition) (from a place).Also, with a way of life as obj.(1) 1513 Doug. vi ii 84.
Gif Orpheus mycht reduce agane … From hell his spousis gost
1533 Boece 323.
Ambassiatouris suld be send in France to reduce Fiakir to Scotland
1533 Bell. Livy II 18/1.
Valerius … past than to the armye to … reduce thame agane in the ciete
1562-3 Winȝet II 53/34.
And mot reduce and hald thame selfis within the maist suir … harbery of … the Kirk
1616 Brechin Kirk S. 9 July.
That ane of the beddells … reduce them back again to their seats
a1639 Spotsw. Hist. (1675) 9.
Since the Scots were reduced from their exile by Fergus
a1500 Seven S. 1321.
Than was the child reducit sone
(2) a1538 Abell 38b.
Wald God gife I mycht reduce deid men to life
1560 Acts II 527/2.
He send propheitis to reduce them to the rycht way of thair God
a1568 Bann. MS I p. 3/21.
Man to redeme fra thrall captiuite And to reduce him to felicite
(3) 1562-3 Winȝet I 55/33.
Desyrus … to hef reduceit … the wildsum wandering vnto the richt way agane

b. To bring, or convert, (a person) to a faith. — a1538 Abell 40b.
Sanct Patrik … wes send … to Yrland quhilk he reducit to the Christin faith

3. To bring (a thing) back to a place. b. specif. To bring (coin) in again (to the mint). 1515 Dunferm. B. Rec. I 192.
Gif thai turs ony cornis furtht of the said towne … fredome to raduce and inbring the samyn to the said burghe
b. 1581–2 Reg. Privy C. III 463.
The late silver cunyie … sould be reducit and brocht in agane, to be cunyeit of new
1582 Ib. 498.
[That the] lait cunyie of … twa schilling peces suld be reducit and imbrocht to his hienes cunyehous

4. Only Sc.: To take back to oneself or regain (land) from (fra) the possession or control of another. c1475 Wall. xi 941.
Inglis wardans … tauld the king … How Wallace had Scotland fra thaim reduce [: Bruce]
1500 Acta Conc. II 433.
That thir landis of the Scheild til be reducat and be put in the handis of the kingis hienes
1569–70 Bann. Memor. 11.
The kirklandis that ar fewit, make ȝow to reduce thame all; for that way ȝe sall haue the whole fewis in your owin handis

b. To win (land) from (furth of) an uncultivated to a cultivated state. — 1536–7 Sc. Hist. Rev. VII 358.
Our landis of Drigrange … war reducit furth of wod and forrest to telit landis

5. To bring back or restore (a condition, custom or state of things). 1513 Doug. xi xvii 100.
Ne war … Phebus … Hys wery stedis had dowkyt … Reducyng the dyrk nycht
1549 Compl. 90/11.
Ȝour foir fathers … quha … reducit there liberte, quhilk vas ane lang tyme in captiuite
1554 Knox III 92.
Yf at evin cum sorrow … befoir the mornyng spring I sall reduce and bring gladnes
1687 Shields Hind Let Loose 27.
Such … as will … reduce the prophane customs of the heathen

6. To bring (a thing) to a better state or condition; to restore to (in) a previous state.(a) 1513 Doug. xi viii 119.
Tyme … Reducit hes full mony onlykly thyng To bettir fyne than was thar begynnyng
1564 Reg. Privy C. I 287.
Na bettir … remedy could be devysit nor to reduce the saidis materis in the formair estait and conditioun
1587 Bk. Univ. Kirk II 723.
And to restore again the patrimony of the kirks … which cannot be done without … the thrids [be] reduced to the first integritie
(b) c1615 Chron. Kings 28.
The Romane luifftennent … hoiping to riduiss all to peace [etc.]

b. To bring or adapt a thing to (in) a different condition, function or standard. 1513 Doug. viii vi 68.
The haly schaw Quhilk strang Romulus dyd reduce and draw In maner of … sanctuary
1621 Acts IV 632/1.
Quhairby all the measoris that ar now vseit may be reducit to the conformitie off the said [sc. Linlithgow] measure

c. To change (something) to a contrary condition. 1513 Doug. x xi 55.
Gif thou wenys that all the victory … May be reducyt and alterat clar agane, A mysbyleve thou fosteris all invane
16.. Gordon Macfarlane's Geog. Coll. II 396.
A power limitat be them, … wherein they doe no less than reduce the succession to election

7. To bring or change (a text) into (intill) another language; to render, translate.Cf. e.m.E. reduce (in to Englysshe; Caxton). 1513 Doug. i Prol. 404.
Lo he reprevis … Ay word by word to reduce ony thing
Id. Direct. 127.
Virgillis volum of hir son Enee, Reducit, as I cowth, intill our tong

8. a. To bring (a complex of ideas) down to one head or article. b. To bring (an organised body) into proper order.a. 1490 Irland Mir. II 62/34.
And to that artikle is reducit the faith of the sacramentis of halykyrk

b. 1647 Ancram & Loth. Corr. I 221 (see Modelise v.).

9. To bring (people, also transf. a territory) to a state of order or obedience by force or compulsion.Also, to reduce till (oneself), in the same sense.(1) ?a1500 Steel Roy Robert 170.
Robert the Bruce … halelie culd reduce Northummerland all till him sell
(2) 1565 Reg. Privy C. I 349.
To the effect that thai may be reducit to thair dewitie or punissit for thair contempt
1584 Ib. III 682.
His hienes subjectis … may thairby be … reduceit to the acknawledgeing of thair offences
1602 Aberd. B. Rec. II 232.
That ylle [sc. Lewis] … reducit … to als gryt obedience as ony pairt of the mane and in cuntrie
1606 Reg. Privy C. VII 504.
To reduce the North Yllis … to civilitie and oure obedyence

10. Only Sc.: To revoke, rescind or annul (a decree, deed, contract, etc.). Also absol.See also Reductio(u)n(e n. 1.“The decree submitted for reconsideration is ‘retreated,’ or ‘cassed,’ or ‘brought back,’ or ‘reduced’” (Acta Conc. III xlvii).pres. 1501–2 Acta Conc. MS 119b.
Thay may nocht retrete nor reduce the sade act & decret gevin be the lordis of consale of before
1582 Misc. Stair Soc. I 105.
The decreit reduceand the infeftment gevyn to the said George
a1597-1617 Hist. Jas. VI (1804) 220.
The king's licence … to reduce thair foirfaultors
a1605 Montg. Misc. P. xxxii 10.
Nane dou reduce the Destinies decreit
1606 Chart. Coupar A. II 220.
With expres power … to retreit and reduce quhatsumever infestmentis [etc.]
1609 Skene Reg. Maj. ii 127.
Na judge may reduce his awne decreit, except the Lords of session, quha may nocht onlie reduce their awne decretes … bot also the decretes of all inferiour judges in ciuil causes
1622-6 Bisset I 272/16 (see Decrete n. 2 (b)).p.t. a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 60.
The king decerned him to tyne his heretable shireiffshipe … quhilk decreit the lords reduced
p.p. 1498 Acta Conc. II 241.
That he micht call his parti til produce the execucione of the horne … and til haf the sammyn reducit … because thai war out of ordour
1507 Reg. Privy S. I 210/1.
In case that the entreis of the said Alexander … be retretit or be ony caus reducit
1526 Ib. 509/2.
The malis and proffittis of thaim [sc. lands] that sal happin to fall in his handis be reductioun of sesing gevin to the said Johne, gif it happinis to be reducit be summondis of errour
1558 Q. Kennedy Tractive 139.
The subjectis mon evir stand at quhilk is done be the hiear poweris … aye and quhill the samyn be reducit be sufficient ordour
1574 Reg. Privy C. II 392.
Thair infeftment salbe reduceit and decernit null
c1575 Balfour Pract. 160. 1597 (1599) Reg. Great S. 304/1.
Incaice this tak sall happin to be reducit or annullit
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 147.
Ane sentence given against a partie compeirand cannot be reduced … [except (etc.)]
Ib. 206.
Nae infeftments can be reduced for non-production bot such as [etc.]
1661 Lauder Notices Affairs I 2.
Their was a disposition reduced by the Laird of Craig against Pittarro
1668-9 Fraser Lawfulness Separ. 49.
A title, action, or thing in law, tho' reducible, yet stands actually irreduced in civil things, until it be forensically reduced
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i xxxi 4 (1678) 312. 1684 Decis. Lords F. 60.
Antonia Broun as heir to her father … having reduced the service upon minority and lesion
absol. 1542 Reg. Privy S. II 733/2.
The previlege … of the saidis courtis … to replege, reduc and agane bring

b. To seek to have (a decree, etc.) legally annulled. c1630 Scot Narr. 145.
Which charge … the imprisoned offered to reduce and disprove but could never be heard
1681 Stair Inst. iv xx §14.
[The pursuer] cannot insist to reduce and improve upon … any other right but an infeftment

11. To bring down, diminish to a lesser amount, number, value or fineness. 1576–7 Reg. Privy C. II 598.
All silver … of quhatsumevir fynnes … with the allay thairto to be reduceit to the fynnes of aucht deneiris
1581 Acts III 215/1.
Considering how hurtfull … the lait siluer cunȝe (having cours vpoun sa hicht price) is … and now willing to haue the same reducit to ane lawer price
1595 Conv. Burghs II 12.
That … the gadge of hering … the hogheid was reducit fra auchtene gallouns to fyftene gallouns

b. To deduct or subtract. — 1670 Aberd. Council Lett. V 71.
When 5 per cent was granted to be redust of the plaiding it was for redy money

12. In calculation: To change (a unit of measurement, or the nominal form of the thing measured) to (in) another unit or denomination. 1597 Household Bks. Jas. VI 31 Jan.
Quheit. — Summa of bread spendit … the said monethe extendis to … Quhilk being reducit in quheit comptand for ilk boll viixx bread extendis to [etc.]
Malt. — Summa of aill spendit … extendis to … Quhilk being reducit in malt comptand for ilk boll [etc.]
Wyne. — Summa of wyne … extendis to … Quhilk being reducit in gryit comptand for ilk puncheon xvi gallonis … extendis to [etc.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

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



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: