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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV).

HABILE, adj. Also hable, habil.

1. Fit, qualified, competent, suitable (Sc. 1808 Jam., habil, hable), freq. in legal use and commonly applied to witnesses admissible in law (Sc. 1946 A. D. Gibb Legal Terms 39).Bte. 1723 Session Bk. Rothesay (1931) 375–6:
She wants the solidity that capacitates for a habile witness.
Sc. a.1732 T. Boston Sermons (1745) 44:
The only habile Way of getting the Crook evened, is to apply to God for it.
Sc. 1749 Rec. Conv. Burghs (S.H.S.) 331:
Or any other habile mean of proof known in law.
Bnff. 1795 Stat. Acc.1 XVII. 433:
If found habile or fit for being received at a college at all.
Abd. 1845 Stat. Acc.2 XII. 1149:
Those presented to bursaries by lay patrons are also examined at the beginning of the session in which they produce their presentations, and are only admitted if found habile, that is, properly qualified.
Sc.(E) 1913 H. P. Cameron Imit. Christ iii. xxxi.:
We speir hoo muckle a man haes dune; . . . We frayn gin he be feerdy, . . . braw, habile.

Hence †hability, legal competence; †habily, competently, properly.Wgt. 1706 Session Rec. Kirkinner MS. (1 Sept.):
The parties were interrogat if they had anything to object against the hability of the said witnesses.
Sc. 1737 Kames Decisions (1766) 22:
The property thereof belonged to Patrick . . . and . . . he might habily assign the same.

2. Of a Latin or Greek version: passable, satisfactory.Abd. 1825 Jam.:
A version is said to be habil, that does not contain twenty-one, or any other determinate number of, errors.

[O.Sc. habyll, habil, etc.. from a.1400, competent (to do something), from 1678, admissible in law: O.Fr. habil(e), Lat. habilis, fit. Of same origin as able.]

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"Habile adj.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 8 Aug 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/habile>

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