v. (wk.)

Gaw pres 3 sg. grayþez, past 3 sg. grayþed, pp. grayþed; Pat past 3 sg. subj. grayþed; WA infin. graith, graithe, grath, pres. 1 sg. graythe, pres. 3 sg. graythis, graithes, grathez, grathes, pres. pl. grathis, graith, imp. sg. graythe, past graythid, pp. graythid, graythed, graþed, graþid, grayd

‘get ready (reflex.); arrayed, prepared, set (pp.); achieve’ (Modern English graith)


cp. OIcel greiða ‘to arrange, make ready, pay, interpret’ < PGmc *ga-raiðjan-; cp. OE gerǣdan ‘to arrange’, Go garáidjan, OFris (bi)rēda, OHG (bi)reiten. Perhaps directly from the ON v., but cp. grayþe (adj.).

PGmc Ancestor


Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

greiða ‘to arrange, make ready, pay, interpret’
(ONP greiða (vb.))

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

Far greiða, Icel greiða, Norw greida, Sw greja, Sw dial greda

OE Cognate

gerǣdan ‘to arrange’

Phonological and morphological markers

ON /ei/ &lt; PGmc */ai/


ON fricative /&eth;/ &lt; PGmc */&eth;/

Summary category



Fairly frequent from Orrm onwards in early ME; found especially in N but also widespread in alliterative verse and the SWM (see further McGee 509-12); MnE dial usage in N, Sc., Ir. and Pem.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Gaw 74, 109, 151 etc.; Cl 343, 1485; Pat 53; WA 790*, 812*, 1453 etc.

The D MS of WA reads <gyfes> at 1904. MED follows Skeat WA (who glosses 'excellently' in interpreting <grayd> at WA 3689 as an instance of the adv. (see s.v. greith). This reading is plausible, though perhaps TPD's interpretation of the word here as a pp. is more likely (?'arrayed'?). The line 'and þat was grauen all grayd of gilden platis' (see TPD 3812-19n) is part of an elaboration of the Latin 'camere omnes de lignes sipressinis erant constructe. In aula ipsius pallacii erant statue constructe super quas erant capitella aurea in quibus avium multa genera consistebant'. 


MED greithen (v.) , OED graith (v.) , HTOED , HTOED , EDD graith (v. and sb.), Dance grayþe (c)(v.), Bj. 43-4, 163, 283 (DP 9)