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Middle English[edit]


From a merging of Old English hweorfan (to turn, change; move, go, come; wander about, roam, go about; turn back, return, turn from, depart; die; be converted) and Old English hwearfan/hwierfan (to turn, change, convert, return; wander, move, go, depart; exchange, barter; overturn, destroy), from Proto-Germanic *hwerbaną (turn).


wharven (third-person singular simple present wharveth, present participle wharvinge, simple past and past participle warfte)

  1. to change; convert; transform; exchange; (the participle hwerefinde was used as an adjective meaning changeable)
    • 1275, Layamon's Brut:
      Wið him warfte Brien al his iweden.
  2. to turn away; turn, divert
  3. to move about; wander; (the participle wharrfedd was used as an adjective meaning confused)
    • 1225, Trinity Homilies:
      Þis lage flemeð þe fule gost ut of þe child, and he wandrede wide, wernende longe, sechende him oðer stede on bileffulle manne.
  4. to come about, happen
  5. to roll about, tumble, tussle; to roll together
    1. (when reflexive) to come together in battle

Related terms[edit]