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See also: mesél


Alternative forms[edit]


From Anglo-Norman mesel, Old French mesel, from Late Latin misellus ‎(leper), from Latin miser ‎(wretched). Compare measles.


mesel ‎(comparative more mesel, superlative most mesel)

  1. (obsolete) Having leprosy; leprous. [14th-17th c.]


mesel ‎(plural mesels)

  1. (obsolete) A leper. [14th-16th c.]
    • c. 1385, William Langland, Piers Plowman, III:
      For she is […] As comune as a cartwey · to eche a knaue þat walketh / To monkes to mynstralles · to meseles in hegges.
  2. (obsolete) A wretched or revolting person. [14th-16th c.]
    • 1395, John Wycliffe, Bible, Isaiah LIII:
      Verily he suffride oure sikenesses, and he bar oure sorewis; and we arettiden him as a mysel and smytun of God and maad low.
  3. (obsolete) Leprosy. [15th-16th c.]
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book XVII:
      So hit befelle many yerys agone there happened on her a malodye, and whan she had lyene a grete whyle she felle unto a mesell, and no leche cowde remedye her [...].

Old French[edit]


Latin misellus.


mesel m ‎(oblique plural meseaus or meseax or mesiaus or mesiax or mesels, nominative singular meseaus or meseax or mesiaus or mesiax or mesels, nominative plural mesel)

  1. leper
    • 1303, Bernard de Gordon, Fleur de lis de medecine (a.k.a. lilium medicine), page 172 of this essay:
      ou par gesir avec femme qui a dormi avec ung mesel
      or by lying with a woman who has slept with a leper