witherweight

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From wither- (counter-) +‎ weight. Compare Middle English witherweȝen (to counter-weight, counter-balance).

Noun[edit]

witherweight (plural witherweights)

  1. (UK dialectal, Scotland) A counterbalancing weight; counterweight.
    • c1665, Sel. Biog. I 265.:
      It is good to have a speciall care that gifts come not in the ballance with grace; for that is too gross a wither-weight. Lay by the painted case when you weigh the jewell; [...]
    • 1672, M. Bruce Rattling Dry Bones 12.:
      He puts it ay so upon their hand that he gives them it with a wother weight; [...]
    • 1822, James Hogg, The three perils of man; or, War, women, and witchcraft - Page 317:
      So, upon the whole, you judge that the balance preponderates on our side just now ?" " I should think sae, Sire, when sic a clod as this castle of Roxburgh is thrown into the bucket. It is nae witherweight this for the end of a weigh-bauk.