sceaft
Morphological Analysis
Wordclass: Noun
Gender: Masculine
Related §§ in Wright's OE Grammar:
§7,
In the OE text, the length is:indicated by acute accentsindicated by macronsnot indicated.
sceaft
es; m. A smooth, round, straight stick or pole, a shaft. I. generally 1. the shaft of a spear (cf. Icel. skaft the shaft, spjót the point) Spereleás sceaft contus, Wrt. Voc. i. 35, 42. Gif se ord sié þreó fingre ufor ðonne hindeweard sceaft, L. Alf. pol. 36; Th. i. 84, 17, 18. His sceaft ætstód ætforan him, and ðæt hors hine bær forþ, swá ðæt ðæt spere him eode þurh út, Homl. Skt. i. 12, 53. Hé sceáf, mid his scylde, ðæt se sceaft tóbærst, and ðæt spere sprengde, Byrht. Th. 135, 52; By. 136. Gár sceal on sceafte, ecg on sweorde, Exon. Th. 346, 12; Gn. Ex. 202. [Hee] Or 2. a spear Sceaft asta, quiris, Wrt. Voc. i. 35, 18: 84, 24. Ðes sceft (scæft, sceaft) cuspis, Ælfc. Gr. 9, 28; Zup. 56, 4. Scyld sceal cempan, sceaft reáfere, Exon. Th. 341, 23; Gn. Ex. 130. Scæftes ł speres ðínes hastae tuae, Cant. Ab. 11. Ðæt yrre ðæt geþyld mid ðam sceafte (mid his spere, B.) slihþ ira patientiam conto percutit, Glos. Prud. A. 18. Scyld sceft oncwyð, Fins. Th. 12; Fin. 7. Hlyn wearð on wícum scylda and sceafta, Cd. Th. 124, 13; Gen. 2062. Deáwig sceaftum, 199, 25; Exod. 344. Hig bǽron lange sceaftas, and ne cóman hig ná tó feohtanne, ac ðæt hig woldan mid hlóþe geniman, Shrn. 38, 9. II. the shaft of an arrow Sceaft feðergearwum fús, Beo. Th. 6228; B. 3118. [Þe ssaft (the arrow that killed William Rufus), þat was wyþoute, gryslych he tobrec, R. Glouc. 419, 2.] III. a pole Fana hwearfode scír on sceafte, Met. 1. 11. Ic gegaderode mé stuþan sceaftas . . . Ic lǽre ǽlcne ðara ðe manigne wǽn hæbbe, ðæt hé menige tó ðam ilcan wuda ðár ic ðás stuþan sceaftas cearf, Shrn. 163, 5-14. [Moyses made a wirme of bras, And henget hege up on a saft, Gen. and Ex. 3899.] III a. something shaped like a shaft, a taper :-- Swá swá eles gecynd biþ ðæt hé beorhtor scíneþ ðonne wex on sceafte (wax in the form of a taper or (?) a wax candle in a candlestick, cf. candelstæf), Blickl. Homl. 129, 1. IV. The word occurs in the passage that defines the distance to which the king's 'grið' extended, but the origin of the phrase, of which it forms part, is not evident Ðus feor sceal beón ðæs cinges grið fram his burhgeate ðǽr hé is sittende on feówer healfe his, ðæt is, .iii. míla, and .iii. furlang, and .iii. æcera brǽde, and .ix. fóta, and .ix. scæfta munda, and .ix. berecorna, L. Ath. iv. 5; Th. i. 224, 7-10. Cf. Tria miliaria, et .iii. quarantene, et .ix. acre latitudine, et .ix. pedes, et .ix. palme, et .ix. grana hordei, L. H. i. 16; Th. i. 526, 15. As the name of a measure of about six inches the phrase continued to exist. Stratmann gives schaftmonde, Nares cites a passage from Harrington's Ariosto in which shaftman occurs; in Ray's Collection (1691) shafman, shafmet, shaftment is explained 'the measure of the fist with the thumb set up.' v. also Halliwell's Dict., and Jamieson's, s.v. schaftmon, shathmont. For the latter form see Sir W. Scott's Antiquary, c. 8 (at the end). [O. Sax. skaft a spear: O. H. Ger. scafe hostile, hasta, jaculum, telum, arundo: Icel. skapt, skaft a shaft, haft (of an axe).] v. deoreþ-, here-, lóh, wæl-sceaft.
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