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Early Middle English for today

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Early Middle English texts

How to get a definition for a word

Definitions are available for Early Middle English (eME) words in normalised texts only. All eME words are defined in these texts.

You can get a definition of any eME word in modern English simply by mousing over the word. That brief definition will appear in a modified ASCII spelling. To read the definition more clearly, with etymology, and in eME spelling, just click on the word. A definition box will appear. Note that as well as the meaning of the word, you will also see the Old English form of the word, an indication of its part of speech (noun, verb etc), its noun or verb group if applicable, any compounds based on the word, and the various forms the word may have appeared under in eME texts.

How to switch spelling options

Click one of the options in the right hand column of the page, which is not highlighted.

Note that as you mouse over each tab, a description of that particular spelling option will appear beside it.

A demonstration of the spelling switcher, which displays all the vowels and consonants of Early Middle English, can be found in the: demonstration of spelling switcher

Anglo-Norman & Latin words

Words of Old Norse*, Anglo-Norman or Latin origin are colour-coded, in brown, purple and blue respectively. The definition of these words will indicate, where possible, the eME equivalent of OE origin. For example, in the Peterborough Chronicle, the definition for pais includes the etymology for frit` and tresor points to mat`me.

* a few words of Middle Dutch origin are also coloured brown;