'to go astray'

(Modern English )


(1) Most commentators derive this v. from ON (although the etymon is not recorded), cp. Icel ráfa 'to wander' (from the 17c.) and Norw rava. No English cognate survives, but OED connects MDu reven 'to talk nonsense, babble, to be mad', Du revelen, MLG rēven 'to be mad or delirious', MLG reben 'to move about, to dream, to be confused' (perh. also Swiss Ger räbeln 'to make loud noise'). Semantic influence from OFr *raver 'to be mad' (MED's rāven (v.1), OED's rave v.1) is often adduced, or alternatively (2) raue may simply be identical with it.

PGmc Ancestor

Proposed ON Etymon (OIcel representative)

(ONP )

Other Scandinavian Reflexes

(1) Icel ráfa, Norw rava

OE Cognate

Phonological and morphological markers

Summary category



MED's handful of citations are predominantly N.

Occurrences in the Gersum Corpus

Pe 665


MED rāven (v.2) , OED rave (v.2) , HTOED , Mag. ráfa, Torp rava (2)