eDIL - Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language

The electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language (eDIL) is a digital dictionary of medieval Irish. It is based on the ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY’S Dictionary of the Irish Language based mainly on Old and Middle Irish materials (1913-1976) which covers the period c.700-c.1700. The current site contains revisions to c.4000 entries and further corrections and additions will be added in the coming years.

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Word of the Week[See More]

RÉ clearly denotes the moon when a late medieval astronomical text refers to ‘eclipsis an ré’ (an eclipse of the moon). But the word may be used for other heavenly bodies also, for the term SECHTARRÉ is used of the seven stars known as Ursa Major or the Great Bear. So far, the Irish name has been found in only two sources, including In Cath Catharda, an adaptation of Lucan’s account of the Roman civil war, which states that people who lived south of Mount Olympus did not feel the northerly wind and did not see the Great Bear (CCath. 3813).

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MUIRCHRECH seems to have been used in early Irish to indicate a certain distance out to sea. The word appears in references to how people who had committed crimes and children born of incest were placed in small boats a MUIRCHRECH out to sea and provided only with enough food for one night and a weapon to defend themselves. Should the prevailing wind and tide bring them to shore, they were accepted back into the community, living afterwards as individuals of low status. A MUIRCHRECH is often defined as the distance from which a white shield could be seen from the shore.

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