wite

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English wīten (to accuse, reproach, punish, suspect), Old English wītan (to look, behold, see, guard, keep, impute or ascribe to, accuse, reproach, blame), derived from Old English wīte, see below.

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

wite (third-person singular simple present wites, present participle witing, simple past and past participle wited)

  1. (chiefly Scotland) To blame; regard as guilty, fault, accuse
    • Late 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Wife of Bath's Tale’, Canterbury Tales:
      As help me God, I shal þee nevere smyte! / Þat I have doon, it is þyself to wyte.
  2. To reproach, censure, mulct
  3. To observe, keep, guard, preserve, protect

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English wītan (guilt, blameworthiness, blame, wrongdoing, misdeed, offense, punishment, retribution, fine, bote, customary rent), from Old English wīte, see below.

Noun[edit]

wite (plural wites)

  1. (obsolete outside Scotland) Blame, responsibility, guilt.
    • 1903, A. W. Pollard (ed.), Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory (1485) , Vol.I, Bk. I, Ch. XXVII:
      And so by fortune the ship drave unto a castle, and was all to-riven, and destroyed the most part []. So many lords and barons of this realm were displeased, for their children were so lost, and many put the wite on Merlin more than on Arthur; so what for dread and for love, they held their peace.
      1485, Syr Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Bk.I, Ch.xxiij:
      And so by fortune the shyp drofe vnto a castel and was al to ryuen and destroyed the most part []/ So many lordes and barons of this reame were displeasyd / for her children were so lost / and many put the wyte on Merlyn more than on Arthur / so what for drede and for loue they helde their pees
    • 1922, E. R. Eddison, The Worm Ouroboros, The Project Gutenberg, Australia:
      Nor I will not suffer mine indignation so to witwanton with fair justice as persuade me to put the wite on Witchland.
  2. Punishment, penalty, fine, bote, mulct.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old English witan

Verb[edit]

wite (third-person singular simple present wites, present participle witing, simple past and past participle wited)

  1. (obsolete or poetic) To go, go away, depart, perish, vanish

References[edit]

  • Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

Old English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Cognate with Old Frisian wīte, Old Saxon wīti, Dutch wijte, Old High German wīzi, Old Norse víti.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

wīte n (nominative plural wītu)

  1. punishment, torment, torture
    wíte wealdeþ. — He is the disposer of punishment. (He wields punishment.)
  2. plague, disease, evil, injury, pain
    Of ðam wíte gehǽled; — Healed of the disease.
  3. penalty, fine, bote: contribution, in money or food, to sustenance of king or his officers
  4. woe, misery, distress

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Scots[edit]

Verb[edit]

wite

  1. Alternative form of wyte

West Frisian[edit]

Verb[edit]

wite

  1. to know (a fact)

Conjugation[edit]

Infinitive: wite
Present tense Past tense
person singular plural singular plural
1st ik wyt wy wite ik wiet wy wieten
2nd do/dû wytst jimme wite do/dû wietst jimme wieten
3rd hy/sy wyt hja wite hy/sy wiet hja wieten
Present participle Imperative Auxiliary Past participle
witend (witende) wyt hawwe witen

Synonyms[edit]