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From Middle English hempen, hempyn, from Old English *hænepen (made of hemp, hempen), equivalent to hemp +‎ -en. Cognate with Dutch hennepen (hempen), German hänfen (hempen). More at hemp.



hempen (not comparable)

  1. (dated) Made of hemp
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queen, volume 1:
      In fowle reproch of knighthoods faire degree, / About his neck an hempen rope he weares, / That with his glistring armes does ill agree;
    • 1891: Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
      A quiet land is this -- a land where the slow-moving Basque, with his flat biretta-cap, his red sash and his hempen sandals, tills his scanty farm ...
  2. Related to hempen ropes, i.e., to hanging as capital punishment.
    • 1904: Rafael Sabatini, The Tavern Night
      ... but rid himself also of the companionship of this ruffianly Sir Crispin, to whom no doubt a hempen justice would be meted.

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