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Alternative forms[edit]


From Anglo-Norman maigné, meyné et al., Old French mesnie (household), from Vulgar Latin *mansionata, from Latin mānsiō, mānsiōn (house). Compare menial.



meinie (plural meinies)

  1. (now rare, Scotland, Ireland) A household, or family.
  2. (archaic or historical) A retinue.
    • 1387–1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “The Manciples Tale”, in The Canterbury Tales, [Westminster: William Caxton, published 1478], OCLC 230972125; republished as William Thynne, editor, The Woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, Newly Printed, with Diuers Addicions, which were Neuer in Printe before: With the Siege and Destruccion of the Worthy Citee of Thebes, Compiled by Ihon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. As in the Table More Plainly Dooeth Appere, London: Imprinted at London, by Ihon Kyngston, for Ihon Wight, dwellying in Poules Churchyarde, 1561, OCLC 932919585, folio LXXXIX:
      That, for the tiraunt is of greater mighe / By force of meine, to ſlea doun right / And bren hous and hoom, and make al plain, / Lo therfore is he called a capitain / And for the outlawe hath but ſmal meine, / And maie not doe ſo greate an harme as he, / Ne bring a countrey to ſo greate miſchief / Men callen him an outlawe or a thief.
    • 1965, Jack Robert Lander, The Wars of the Roses,
      And in the evening they went with their simple captain to his lodging; but a certain of his simple and rude meinie abode there all the night [...].
  3. (now Scotland) A crowd of people; a rabble.
    • 1608, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Coriolanus, [Act III, scene i]:
      For the mutable ranke-ſented Meynie, / Let them regard me, as I doe not flatter, / And therein behold themſelues.