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    #1

    plight

    I was looking for the meaning of this word and came across this site:
    Plight Meaning and Definition
    Can you explain to me what numbers 1) and 4) are?
    Is "plight" really a past form of "pluck"? I don's see it in any other dictionary.
    And also, do I understand right that number 4) says that there is a verb plight, whose both past forms are "plight" too? Again, no other dictionary says so. They mention the verb "plight, plighted, plighted". Webster's dictionary usually contains obsolete and archaic forms of the words and it hasn't these.
    Last edited by mmasny; 25-Feb-2010 at 21:00.

  1. Trance Freak's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: plight


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    #3

    Re: plight

    Thank you for you answer.
    I've seen this already. My question is about this particular definition from ThinkExist. I understand the word in the context in which I found it. The confusion comes from the dictionary entry.

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    #4

    Re: plight

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    I was looking for the meaning of this word and came across this site:
    Plight Meaning and Definition
    Can you explain to me what numbers 1) and 4) are?
    Is "plight" really a past form of "pluck"? I don's see it in any other dictionary.
    And also, do I understand right that number 4) says that there is a verb plight, whose both past forms are "plight" too? Again, no other dictionary says so. They mention the verb "plight, plighted, plighted". Webster's dictionary usually contains obsolete and archaic forms of the words and it hasn't these.
    This is what we are talking about:

    1 () imp. & p. p. of Pluck.
    ...
    4 () imp. & p. p. of Plight, to pledge.
    ...
    7 (n.) To pledge; to give as a pledge for the performance of some act; as, to plight faith, honor, word; -- never applied to property or goods.
    First, beware. Modern grammars don't talk about an 'imperfect' in English; ThinkExist is talking about the simple past,

    I've never heard 1 before; it may be true historically, but it's certainly not current. 4, too, may be true historically (and it could be the origin of 7 - which seems to be referring to a verb rather than a noun). This present tense is used in the archaic language (still used today) of the Book of Common Prayer in the marriage service: '... thereto I plight my troth'.

    But this usage is archaic, and is only ever met in that context (and possibly one or two others that I can't call to mind right now ). Someone might say, in a jocular way, 'they have plighted their troth' to mean 'they are married'. But with such limited data, I don't think anyone's justified in saying there's a current verb 'plight, plighted, plighted'. This is a case where Shakespeare might have made his schoolboy joke 'the root is caret'.

    b

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    #5

    Re: plight

    There's no mention in the OED of plight under pluck, nor pluck under plight.

    But here is plight, v - both are obsolete. [truncated for space]

    plight, v.1


    1. trans. To endanger or compromise (life, honour, etc.). Obs.
    In Old English with object in dative. OE Laws of elred II (Nero) V. xxviii. 244 Gyf hwa butan leafe of fyrde gewende, e se cyning sylf on sy, plihte him sylfum & ealre his are. OE Laws of elred II (Claud.) VI. xxxvi. 256 Gif morwyrhtan oe mansworan..to am geristian, t hy on s cyninges neaweste gewunian, r am e hy habban bote agunnen for Gode & for worolde, onne plihton hy heora are & eallon heora htan.
    2. trans.
    a. To put (something) under risk of forfeiture; to give in pledge; to pledge or engage (one's troth, faith, oath, promise, etc.). Now rare.

    ...
    J. BENTHAM Def. Usury vi. 60 In the case of informers in general, there has been no troth plighted, nor benefit received. 1855 MACAULAY Hist. Eng. IV. xxi. 685 They came in multitudes..to plight faith to William, rightful and lawful King. 1887 R. F. BURTON tr. Arabian Nights' Entertainments: Suppl. Nights III. dlvii. 126, I am a man of my word even as I plighted it to him. 1977 Economist (Nexis) 14 May 104 The leaders of the non-communist world publicly plighted their economic troth last weekend. 2001 Estonian News Agengy (Nexis) 27 Apr., Mois himself has on several occasions plighted his faith to the coalition agreement in Tallinn.
    b. spec. To pledge (one's troth, faith, etc.) as (part of) an act of betrothal or marriage. See also TROTH-PLIGHT v.
    The chief surviving sense, although now deliberately arch.
    ...
    1832 H. MARTINEAU Ireland iv. 72 So you have plighted and pledged yourself to your band since you swore you would wed me only. 1870 E. PEACOCK Ralf Skirlaugh III. 116 His daughter was plighted to the very man he would have chosen for her. 1887 T. HARDY Woodlanders II. iv. 71 One of the girls (a bouncing maiden, plighted to young Timothy Tangs) asked her if she would join in. 1927 R. A. TAYLOR Leonardo 20 One pale, heavy-curled child slips past, dying because he has plighted himself to Artemis. 1944 Nebraska State Jrnl. 7 June 8/5 The girl, already promised to a powerful neighbor, had plighted herself to the golden-voiced bard.

    plight, v.2

    Obs.
    a1425 (c1385) CHAUCER Troilus & Criseyde (1987) II. 697 What to doone best were, and what eschue; That plited [v.rr. plitede, pleytede] she ful ofte in many fold. a1639 J. STOUGHTON Learned Treat. (1640) II. 78 So long as these Divine truths are folded and plighted together in these few divisions, there is no lustre or light sparkles from them.
    2. trans. To enfold in one's arms; to embrace. rare.
    a1450 York Plays 436 And in his armes he shall hym plight. 1596 R. LYNCHE Dom Diego in Diella sig. F3v, Diego..Came running forth, him in his armes to plight.
    3. trans. To plait or braid (hair, threads, etc.); = PLAIT v. 1; to tie in a knot.
    1589 R. GREENE Menaphon sig. I2, Hir lockes are pleighted like the fleece of wooll. 1590 SPENSER Faerie Queene II. vi. 7 Sometimes her head she fondly would aguize With gaudy girlonds..or rings of rushes plight. a1592 R. GREENE Frier Bacon (1594) sig. D2, Ile plight the bands and seale it with a kisse. 1633 P. FLETCHER Purple Island VII. xxiii. 90 A long love-lock on his left shoulder plight.

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    #6

    Re: plight

    Raymott, I can't thank you enough for your contribution! I didn't even hope to get such a great reply.

    I found this also:
    pliht [] m (-es/-as) peril, risk, danger, damage, plight; t ~e dangerously
    plihtan [] wv/t1b 3rd pres plihte past plihtde ptp geplihted to imperil, compromise, bring danger upon an object (dat.); [to plight has a later meaning of to promise under peril of forfeiture, to make a solemn engagement for which one has to answer]


    So it seems that they're wrong somehow on ThinkExist, doesn't it?
    I think I'll have some more questions about the word, but I'll have to do some digging.

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    #7

    Re: plight

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    So it seems that they're wrong somehow on ThinkExist, doesn't it?
    It certainly seems that way. But is there any reason a free internet dictionary shouldn't be wrong occasionally? Perhaps you could write directly to ThinkExist for an explanation of where they found that definition.

    I think I'll have some more questions about the word, but I'll have to do some digging.
    Good luck!
    It's not a word I personally would bother with, given that it's rarely (if ever) used as a verb, and that as a noun it's uncontentious.
    R.

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