From Middle English hight (“to be named, be called”) (alternative past participle of hoten, see also hote), from Old English hēht (“was named, was called”, preterite of hātan), from *hehait-, reduplicate preterite base of Proto-Germanic *haitaną (“to call, command, summon”). Akin to German heißen.
hight (no third-person singular simple present, no present participle, simple past and past participle hight) hight is only the preterite or past participle, not the infinitive or present.
- (obsolete) simple past tense of
- (archaic, transitive) To call, name.
- (archaic, intransitive) To be called or named.
- c. 1595–1596, W. Shakespere [i.e., William Shakespeare], A Pleasant Conceited Comedie Called, Loues Labors Lost. […] (First Quarto), London: […] W[illiam] W[hite] for Cut[h]bert Burby, published 1598, OCLC 61366361; republished as Shakspere’s Loves Labours Lost (Shakspere-Quarto Facsimiles; no. 5), London: W[illiam] Griggs, […], , OCLC 1154977408, [Act I, scene i]:
- […] I did incounter that obſeene and moſt prepoſterous euent that draweth frõ my ſnowhite pen the ebon coloured Incke, which here thou vieweſt, beholdeſt, ſuruayeſt, or ſeeſt. […] There did I ſee that low ſpirited Swaine, […] hight Coſtard, (Clow[ne]. O mee) ſorted and conſorted contrary to thy eſtabliſhed proclaymed Edict and continent Cannon; Which with, o with, but with this I paſſion to ſay wherewith: / Clo[wne]. With a Wench.
- (archaic, dialectal) To command; to enjoin.
- I hight ye take me wi' ye. I ne can no lenger her b'live.
- The verb hight has many different forms in many different regions. For the present tense the form het is rather common. The usage example for the sense "to command or to enjoin" can be rendered in standard English in the following manner:
- I hight ye take me wi' ye. I ne can no lenger her b'live = I bid you take me with you. I can no longer stay here.
- Moreover, in the sense "to enjoin", the word is mainly used for emphasis, and as such is untranslatable into standard English. For example: I het ye leit mee men ga. 'Ey ne dyde nathing te na ane. 'Ey ar wyteless. (Please, let my men go. They did not do anything to any one. They are blameless).
- The word survives only as part of the oral tradition in rural Scotland and Northern England. It is no longer used in common speech.
hight (not comparable)
- (archaic) Called, named.
- Synonym: yclept
- 1886-88, Richard F. Burton, The Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 514:
- […] there dwelt in a city of the cities of China a man which was a tailor, withal a pauper, and he had one son, Alaeddin hight.
hight (plural hights)
- Obsolete form of .
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for hight in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)
- English: hight (obsolete)