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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1952 (SND Vol. III). Includes material from the 2005 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

DREE, v.1, n.1 Also †drie.

I. v.

1. tr.

(1) To endure, to suffer, bear (pain, misfortune, penance, etc.). Gen.Sc. Also in n.Eng. dial. Also vbl.n. dreein.Sc. 1725 Ramsay Gentle Shepherd Act III. Sc. iii.:
Let's steal frae ither now, and meet the Morn; If we be seen, we'll drie a deal of Scorn.
Sc. 1816 Scott Antiquary ix.:
Heavystern dreed pain and dolour in that charmed apartment.
Sc. 1991 R. Crombie Saunders in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 27:
Or gin mysel an luve had ches to flee
Out o they hert thegither, I wad dree
Mair lichtlie tho my gledness suld be skaith.
ne.Sc. 1929 M. W. Simpson Day's End 11:
O Thocht that is ill to thole, O sorrow that's sair to dree.
Abd. 1828 P. Buchan Ballads I. 47:
O God forbid, this youth then said, That ever I drie sic blame.
Ags. 1988 Raymond Vettese The Richt Noise 55:
Sic a cheenge is warth the dreein
for ilka man maun shak whiles
the truths held dear
m.Sc. 1991 Tom Scott in Tom Hubbard The New Makars 41:
Ay, and see richt throu me
Inti the fires my hert in dern is dreean,
No even daeth can get in me sic quakin
Fif. 1827 W. Tennant Papistry Storm'd 131:
My bottle — champion, be it kent, Nae dammishment shall dree.
m.Lth. 1922 “Restalrig” Sheep's Heid 73:
Men'll no' dree thae feckless craturs owre lang, so they'll hae to set to an work wi' their haun's the same as their mithers did afore them.
Ayr. 1796 Burns Young Jamie iv.:
The slighted maids my torments see, And laugh at a' the pangs I dree.
Gall. 1901 Trotter Gall. Gossip 35:
He had tae dree sair penance baith frae the priest an the wife whun he gat sober.

Phr.: to dree one's (a, the) weird, to endure one's fate, submit to one's destiny; to suffer the consequences of any act. Gen.Sc. Now only arch. in Eng. See also Weird.Sc. 1815 Scott Guy M. lv.:
I kenn'd he behoved to dree his weird till that day cam.
Sc. 1828 Scott F. M. Perth xii.:
A poor broken-hearted thing, that, if she hath done evil, has dreed a sore weird for it.
Sc. 1887 R. L. Stevenson Underwoods 108:
Their weird they weel may dree.
Abd. 1893 G. Macdonald Songs 134:
My soul syne in patience its weird will dree.
Ayr. 1901 “G. Douglas” Green Shutters xxvii.:
Fate set each of them apart to dree a separate weird.

†(2) To pass, spend (one's life, time) miserably, to drag out (an existence). Sometimes used with oot.Sc. 1721 J. Kelly Proverbs 84–85:
Dree out the Inch as you have done the Span. Spoken to encourage People to continue in ill Service, or bear ill Circumstances, whose end is near at hand.
Sc. 1805 Scott Last Minstrel ii. v.:
Would'st thou thy every future year In ceaseless prayer and penance drie.
Lnk. 1881 D. Thomson Musings 94:
There's ither puir mortals, wha dree oot their life, Just scrapin' for siller.
Lnk. 1882 J. Graham in Songs and Ballads of Cld. (ed. A. Nimmo) 168:
Improve the short remaining time That you and I may dree.

2. intr. To endure, last out, continue. Also in n.Eng. dial.Sc. 1827 W. Motherwell Minstrelsy 59:
Carmichael's awa to Margaret's bower, E'en as fast as he may drie.
Sc. 1928 T. T. Alexander Psalms 14:
For in Thine angir ilka day O' oors drees dreich alang.
Lnk. 1919 G. Rae 'Tween Clyde and Tweed 90:
Ablow yon simmer sky, That hauds the hame where love for ever drees.
Wgt. 1804 R. Couper Poems II. 228:
For days and ouks ha'e I to drie, Nae glass, nae sang.

II. n.

1. Trouble, misfortune, suffering; a struggle, hard task. Also in Nhb. dial.Sc. 1917 D. G. Mitchell Kirk i' the Clachan 193:
A' that strike aff frae God's road will fin' the same dree.
Sc. 1949 G. Blair in Scots Mag. (May) 114:
“You've lost an inch aff your west end.” “Richt,” quo' the ither. “That's my dree; I'm shorter than I used to be.”
Edb. 1791 J. Learmont Poems 79–80:
Whase with thee leagu'd, Sall be on brunstane's lowes wi' dree Eternal plagu'd.
Edb. 1882 C. Neill in D. H. Edwards Mod. Sc. Poets (Series 4) 206:
Puir feckless wee lammie, ye're aye in some dree.
Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy Geordie Chalmers 78:
But ye'll likely hae your ain ado to get furret. It's an unco dree.

2. A long-drawn-out melody.Dmf. 1894 J. Arbory in R. Reid Poems 259:
The weary dree o' “Auld Langsyne” Soughs owre the waefu' wanderer's min'.

[O.Sc. has dre(e), drie, v., as above, from 1375, from O.E. drēogan, to suffer, endure, strong v. The conjugation in Sc. is always weak. The n. is not found in O.Sc. but occurs once in Mid.Eng. Cf. Dreich.]

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"Dree v.1, n.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 12 Jun 2024 <>



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