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Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French vitaile,[1] from Latin victuālia.


  • IPA(key): /viˈtɛi̯l(ə)/, /ˈvitəl(ə)/


vitaile (plural vitailes or vitaile)

  1. (primarily as a plural) That which provides nutrition; food, nourishment.
  2. A ration or rations, victuals; one's store of food for journeying.
    • 15th c., “Processus Noe cum filiis [Noah and the Ark]”, in Wakefield Mystery Plays; Re-edited in George England, Alfred W. Pollard, editors, The Towneley Plays (Early English Text Society Extra Series; LXXI), London: [] Oxford University Press, 1897, →OCLC, page 27, lines 154–155:
      ffor thay may the avayll / when al this thyng is wroght' / stuf thi ship with vitayll, / ffor hungre that ye perish noght
      For your own good after this thing [the Flood] is done, stuff your shop with provisions so as not to perish from hunger
  3. Food yielded from agriculture.
Derived terms[edit]
  • English: victual, vittle
  • Scots: victual
  • Irish: biotáille

Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from Middle French vitaillier.



  1. Alternative form of vitailen


  1. ^ vitaile, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007, retrieved 12 June 2018.

Old French[edit]


Latin victuālia, the nominative plural of victuālis, from victus, from the verb vīvō (I live).


vitaile f (oblique plural vitailes, nominative singular vitaile, nominative plural vitailes)

  1. (chiefly in the plural) provisions; vittle; food