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

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First published 1990 (DOST Vol. VII).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

(Resounabill,) Reso(u)nable, Resonabil(l, adj. (adv.). Also: resso(u)n-, res(s)i(o)n-, reas(s)o(u)n-, (reosan-) and -abil(l)e, -abyl(l, -abyle, -abell, -aybill, -abble, -eble. [ME and e.m.E. resonabil (Cursor M.), resounable (Rolle), reasonable (1465–6), OF resnable (c1175 in Larousse). Cf. Raisonable adj.]Chiefly attrib.

1. That is based on sound argument or judgment or valid evidence; well-founded, sound, valid, ‘good’.Freq. with caus, also with defence, excuse, etc.Passing into next sense.attrib. (1) a1400 Leg. S. iii 337.
Resonable cause amowit That makar of man
1400 Maxwell Mem. I 140.
At the forsayd … sal mak alienacioun … of na land … bot gyf it be sene misterful and resonabyl cause
(2) 14.. Acts I 11/2.
Gif ony outhir mar or lesse passis in the kyngis court … thruch ressonable enchesone hym movand
1457 Misc. Spald. C. V 22.
Bot give thai haue a resonable excusation
1489 Acts II 222/1.
Of the quhilk takyng and exactioun oure souerane lord … knew na … ressonable caus
1514 Facs. Nat. MSS III xi.
1526 Douglas Corr. 108.
1531 Aberd. B. Rec. in Mill Mediæv. Plays 124.
Thame that beis absent but ane resonabill caus
1532 Reg. Cupar A. I 315.
And for certane vthir gude and resonable caussis … we … bundis and oblis ws [etc.]
1563 St. A. Kirk S. 157.
To schaw ane ressonabyll caws quhy [etc.]
1563 Dunferm. Ann. 212.
1582 Misc. Spald. C. II 337.
Beseikand your grace to tak this my ressonable answer in a guid pairt
1590 Aberd. Council Lett. I 52.
1604 Stewart Mem. 112.
1640 Mouswald Kirk S. 1 July.
None shall goe from thair awin kirk … except they have some urgent necessitie and resonable excuse
c1650 Spalding I 214.
Quhairvnto his majestie most willinglie condiscendit, as most ressonable groundis
1678 Mackenzie Laws & C. i ix 3 (1678) 74.
That he did the same upon a just and reasonable cause
(3) 1409 Exch. R. IV App. ccx.
Gif he may nocht cum at sic tyme throu causis resonabil, he sal cum alsoune as he gudely may
1456 Hay I 264/9. Ib. 116/27.
Thare is sum tyme certane resoun and caus resonable that excusis the partis
1526 Douglas Corr. 110.
1534 Selkirk B. Ct. (ed.) 140.
That Bellenden cum this xv dais and schaw hir deffenssis resionabyll
1560 Rolland Seven S. 9342.predic. 1456 Hay I 286/22.
Gif him thynkis resounable the caus of the appellacioun, he suld [etc.]
1561 Misc. Bann. C. I 261.
The saids articles being fundyn be us ressonabyle, conform to Goddis word and not hereticall
1566 Reg. Privy C. I 495.
The Lordis of Secreit Counsall hes … considderit the quenis majesteis writting within writtin and findis the samyn ressonabill and convenient

2. That is in accordance with justice or propriety; just, fair or equitable; right or proper.Passing into next sense.attrib. (1) 1391 (1473)Lennox Mun. 44.
Twa thousand marcis … at the resonable termez, as the tymiz hapynnis
1400 Facs. Nat. MSS II liii.
In qwat other resonable manere that yhow likis
1408 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 175.
Lande … in to resounable place and cuunable
1424 Acts II 6/2.
At men fynde … fuyde … for resonable price eftir as the chapis of the cuntre standis
14.. Acts I 6/2.
The deffendour sal nocht ansuer til him til that unresonabil some [supra a mar some than he aw to do of lauch] bot the resonabil scath … sal be taxyt be leil men of the court
14.. Quon. Attach. c. 28.
He aw to … mak a resonabil mendis of the samyn
1456 Hay I 286/15.
And that is law commoun and resounable custum
a1500 Rauf C. 758.
Assigne thé I sall … the nixt vacant, be ressonabill richt
1490 Irland Mir. I 6/27.
Thou sall gouerne my pepill … be ressonabill and incorruptibile iustice
1494 Loutfut MS 5b.
The counstable suld gif the sentence … or ellis with resonable maner accord thaim as pertanys til gentilnes
1500 Acta Conc. II 448. 1533 Bell. Livy I 54/3.
Ane resonabill way was found … to discus this pley
1540 Lynd. Sat. 1161 (B).
O Lord, … mak ane ressonable reformatioun On thame
?1545 Corr. M. Lorraine 139.
Madame, we … hes suir confidence in your grace concernyng the premis and all uther ressoneble efferis
1557–8 Aberd. B. Rec. I 307. 1561 Aberd. B. Rec. I 335.
And siclyk ane ressonabill metsor to be maid … sua that na caus of complent ma be alleigit eftirwart of extorsioun done to wictuall sellaris
1569 Reg. Privy C. I 672.
I sall mak securitie to Rannald … according as his grace sall think ressonabill and equitabill
1599 Ib. VI 59.
To have sum ressonabell dres and ordour tane
(b) 1548 Corr. M. Lorraine 233.
(c) 1575 Laing MSS I 25.
Sum speciall and reasounable conditionis anent this werk
a1633 Hope Major Pract. II 9.
1675 Glasgow B. Rec. III 198.
As they think best and most reassonable
(2) 14.. Reg. Maj. c. 48.
The quhilk scho clamys to perten to hyr ressonable dowry
1492 Douglas Chart. 133.
A resonabill terce to be maid till hir of all and halle the said Cuthbertis landis
1507 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. I 56.
Hir ressonabill terce of the said lands
1546 Reg. Privy C. I 51. 1566 Prot. Bk. W. Cumming 60b.
Ane just and ressonabyll secund terce
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Dos.
Quhilk aucht & suld be ane reasonable thrid part of all … land quhilk the man … hes the time of the … mariage
Id. Reg. Maj. i 25b.
The reasonabill dowrie of ilk wife is called the terce
(3) 1456 Hay I 102/31.
That bataill is a thing lefull and resonable to be done
predic. 1456 Hay I 237/30.
Bot to … prisoun thame … war bot crueltee, and na were resounable
1566-70 Buch. Comm. on Virgil Æn. i 38.
Nec posse, is it reassonable, suld I be constranit that I may not
a1578 Pitsc. I 224/16.
The lordis … concludit wpoun his petitioun that it was ressonabill
Ib. II 61/27.
It is just thairfoir and ressonable ȝour discretiounis to knaw quhat my wordis and doctrin ar

3. That is within the bounds of reason; that is neither excessive nor inadequate; moderate, adequate. a. Of requests, desires, etc. 1391 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV 163.
Hym thocht his request was resounable
c1420 Wynt. v 892 (W).
That nane suld sary pas away … That come to ask ony ressonable thing
c1475 Wall. xi 471. 1490 Irland Mir. I 29/2.
Mony thingis are necessar that oure prayere be ressonabile, deuot, acceptabile and admittit
1538 Breadalbane Coll. No. 48.
And als the saidis Johne salbe pleissand to the said Archibald in hors, hunde, or ony vtheris resonabill gift at the said Archibald requiris
1544 Antiq. Aberd. & B. II 430.
The quhilk desyre the saidis provest [etc.] … thocht resinable
1568 Anderson Collect. Mary IV i 123.
This our reassonaybill and gentle petitioning
1581 Hamilton Cath. Tr. in Cath. Tr. (S.T.S.) 76/24.
This demand appeirit ressonabill to sum
1583 Waus Corr. 275.
Thair reosanabill desyr
1627 Aberd. Council Lett. I 268.
1633 Rec. Kirk Scotl. 48/1.
Our just griuances and resonable petitions

b. Of persons in respect of conduct: Not given to excess, restrained. 1456 Hay II 129/32.
[In summer] is it spedefull to be resonable in latis of lufing

c. Of things more or less measurable as to amount, duration, etc. 1456 Hay II 81/10.
The quhilk liberalitee is callit resounable larges, that is the midlyn way betwix the twa,—of fule larges and avarice
1492 Aberd. B. Rec. I 418.
That Jonhe and Robert ther commone menstralis sal haue resonabile dietis circualie throw the nichtbouris of the towne
1498 Acta Conc. II 287. 1499–1500 Ib. 395.
Scho takand hir ressonable mysteris therof
1553 Reg. Privy C. I 139.
That all maner of cornis … ar cumin doun, and ar sauld upoun reasonabill prices
1553–4 Edinb. B. Rec. II 189.
Vpoun thair expensis, quhilk the jugis thocht ressonabill
1563 Reg. Privy S. V 1 396/2.
The said college to be providit of sic ressonable leving that thairin the liberale sciences may be plainlie techit
1570 St. A. Kirk S. 344.
Bot they wald be content wytht that resonable travell quhilk he offerit to undirly in tyme to cum
1571 Reg. Privy C. II 88.
Ressonable allowance being maid to the apprehenders in consideratioun of thair panis
1558-66 Knox I 60.
Extending baith handis and visage constantlie to the heavin a reassonable tyme, at lenth he burst furth in these wourdis
1582 Conv. Burghs I 143.
Thatt … he micht have allowitt to him all … his resonabill charges
1583 Edinb. Test. XIII 124.
That my spous … sall nureis … hir sone vpoun the ressonabill expensis of the brokkis of his geir
1592 Acts III 553/2.
The saidis takismen … to … condiscend to sum ressonable ȝeirlie proffite [etc.]
1632 Aberd. Council Lett. I 356.
1674 Kirkcudbr. B. Rec. MS 24 June.
Sie that ye tak nothing for your expenses bot that which is ressounable

d. More or less adequate but not excessive, ‘fair’, average (in size). Freq. following an indef. adj. Also e. with a quasi- definite unit of measure.d. 1585 Acts III 422/1.
That scho may haif sum ressounabill assythment and satisfactioun of byganis
1600-1610 Melvill 29.
Giff I haid atteined to anie reasonable missure thairin [sc. in the art of music]
1611 Reg. Panmure I xcv.
Als longue as bothe the schank and thee bone of any ressonable man of this age
1632 Lithgow Trav. vi 256.
Nothing will sinke into it of any reasonable weight
1658 S. Ronaldshay 26.
Whether resorted ane reasonable number of people
1672 Kirkcudbr. Test. (Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct.) 4 April.
William Keawen … lyeing seik of bodie … but of ane reassonable remembrance
e. 1688 Hawick Arch. Soc. (1905) 74.
It is two reasonable myle Between the miln-steed and the kirk-style

4. Of persons or their attributes: a. Endowed with the faculty of reason. b. Guided by reason, justice or moderation.a. 1456 Hay I 64/32.
Thare sall men that ar callit resonable do mare bestly dedis
1461 Liber Plusc. 384.
Quhy ravys thou and thou man resonabile
1490 Irland Mir. II 8/25.
Creaturis intellectuall and ressonable
?a1500 Remembr. Passion 411.
God … maid thé ane ressonabill creatour
b. 1456 Hay II 157/30.
Quhen a man is veritable and resonable, he is comperit to the angelis
1490 Irland Mir. II 76/32.
God is nocht iust na resonable or ellis he will punys thame
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1484 (Arund.).
Quhy is nocht will with ressoun ressonable?
a1586 Maitland Ho. Seytoun xiii.
To the quhilk all resonable reidaris sall be juge
1558-66 Knox II 448.
What ressonable man can doute now of Goddis will
1578–9 Reg. Privy C. III 79.
The wisest and ressonabillest men that culd be found
?1593 Reg. Morton I 186.
The king … hes becumit mair resonabill nor ȝour desert deseruis
1689 Leven & Melv. P. 161.
Its a wonder to see resonable men so by themselves

c. Resonable age, ? an age at which a person is presumed to be still in full possession of his faculties. 1456 Hay I 231/22.
I am passit date of resonable age

5. adv. = Resonabil(l)y adv. 1456 Hay I 143/27.
The chyftane … cummys resonable grete journeis … day by day
Ib. II 36/21.
A knycht suld be of resonable gude age
1572 Crail B. Ct. MS 6 Oct.
And dispoun thair malte ressonable to the inhabitantis
?1605 Old Ross-shire I 30.
Be resoun the minister … may heff to leiff on reasonable
1638 Hamilton P. (Camden Soc.) 11.
Uhich as yeitt is reasonabill good
a1669 Sel. Biog. I 192 (see Journe(e n. 3 b). 1696 Caldwell P. 179.
We eate and drunk weel, and were very reasonable charged

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"Resounabill adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Jul 2024 <>



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