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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1974 (SND Vol. IX).
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

URE, n.2 Also ur (Marw.), oor-. [u:r]

1. A damp mist; fine rain, drizzle (Ork. 1929 Marw.). Hence oorie, of rain: fine, thin, drizzly (Ork. 1973).Cld. 1818 Scots Mag. (Aug.) 155:
The mune be this was shinan clearly abune a' the ure.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 333:
While glowering at the azure sky, And loomy ocean's ure.
Ork. 1929 Marw.:
An oorie rug o' weet.

2. An atmospheric haze, esp. when radiated by sunbeams (Lth. 1973). Also in comb. dry ure, see 1824 quot., also attrib. Adj. urey, hazy; multi-coloured, rainbow-like.Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 119, 365, 455:
Carpets o' queer ureie hues. . . . Then, like the south-wast, whan'tis urey, Wi' sunbeams sooking blue and pure, ay, The saut green wave. . . . Ure — that moisture which the sun exhales from the land and ocean; the atmosphere is most obvious on the sea, and when very dry weather, on the moors; when such is seen it is called the dry ure.
Peb. 1875 J. Veitch Poems 49:
The dry ure glow of sky-enkindled flame.
Peb. 1948 W. Grant Tweeddale 214:
When through the mist the sun strikes and makes it glorious, he [shepherd] speaks of the “dry-ure”.

3. Sweat, perspiration (Ags. 1808 Jam.). Hence ury, adj., clammy, covered with perspiration (Ib.).

4. Slow heat such as proceeds from embers, a suffocating heat (Peb. 1825 Jam.).

[O.N. úr, drizzle.]

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"Ure n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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