Bosworth Toller's

Anglo-Saxon

Dictionary online

þurfan

  • verb [ preterite-present ]
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Grammar
þurfan, prs. ic, he þearf, ðú þearft, pl. wé þurfon; p. þorfte; subj. prs. is þurfe, þyrfe, pl. þurfen, þyrfen; prs. ptcpl. þurfende, þyrfende
Wright's OE grammar
§476; §481; §482; §542;
To need.
to be in need, have need of something,
absolute
Show examples
  • Gif ðú cláþa þe má on hæfst, þonne ðú þurfe,

      Bt. 14, 1; Fox 42, 15.
  • Ðú gæderast máre, þonne ðú þurfe (þyrfe,

      Cott. MS.), 14, 2; Fox 44, 8.
  • Nis hit gód, ðæt hié sién on ðam láðe leng, þonne ðú þurfe,

      Cd. Th. 243, 3; Dan. 430.
  • Sam hí þyrfon, sam hí ne þurfon, hí willaþ þeáh,

      Bt. 26, 2; Fox 92, 30.
  • Ða þurfende

    pauperes,

      Mt. Kmbl. Rush. 5, 3.
  • Þyrfendra

    egentum,

      Wrt. Voc. ii. 142, 69.
with gen. of thing needed
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  • Beó ðé be ðínum, and lǽt mé be mínum; ne gyrne ic ðínes, ne ðú mínes ne þearft (dærft,

      Lchdm. iii. 288, 9), L. O. 13; Th. i. 184, 16.
  • Ne ðearf hé nánes þinges búton ðæs, ðe hé on him selfum hæfþ,

      Bt. 24, 4; Fox 86, 8: Cd. Th. 204, 27; Exod. 425.
  • Hwæt ðurfe (ðurfu, Lind.) wé leng gewitnisse

    quid adhuc egemus testibus,

      Mt. Kmbl. Rush. 26, 65.
  • Ða þurfon swíþe lytles, ðe máran ne willniaþ þonne genóges,

      Bt. 14, 2; Fox 44, 13.
  • Ne ðorfte hé ná máran fultumes,

      26, 2; Fox 92, 22.
  • Hí his sume ðorfton,

      Past. pref.; Swt. 9, 16.
  • Ðǽm ðe micles ðorfton ... ðæm ðe lytles ðyrfe,

      44; Swt. 325, 5-7.
  • Swá welig ðæt hé nánes þinges máran ne þurfe,

      Bt. 24, 2; Fox 82, 4.
with acc.
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  • Múþa gehwylc mete þearf,

      Exon. Th. 341, 12; Gn. Ex. 125.
  • Mete bygeþ, gif hé máran (

    or gen.?

    ) þearf,
      340, 14; Gn. Ex. 111.
to need to do something.
where a want has to be satisfied, a purpose to be accomplished, or the like
Show examples
  • Ðú meaht ðé self geseón, swá ic hit ðé secgan ne þearf,

      Cd. Th. 38, 24; Gen. 611.
  • Gif hit sié sumor, dó wermódes sǽdes dust tó; gif hit sié winter, ne heath ðú ðone wermód tó dón,

      Lchdm. ii. 180, 29.
  • Hé ne ðearf ná faran fram stówe tó stówe,

      Homl. Th. i. 158, 4.
  • Hwæt ðurfon (þurfe,

      Bod. MS.) wé nú má sprecan? Bt. 24, 4; Fox 86, 22.
  • Hí witan, hwǽr hí eáfiscas sécan þurfan (

    where they must seek them, if they are to find them

    ),
      Met. 19, 25.
  • Syle mé ðæt wæter, ðæt mé ne þyrste, ne ic ne ðurfe hér feccan,

      Jn. Skt. 4, 15.
  • Ðý læs wé leng sprecen ymbe ðonne wé þyrfon (wé ne þyrfen,

      Cott. MS.), Bt. 34, 2; Fox 136, 14.
where the need is based on grounds of right, fitness, law, morality, etc.,
to be bound to do something because it is right, etc.
Show examples
  • Nó ðú mínne þearft hafelan hýdan

    the duty of burying me will not fall upon you,

      Beo. Th. 895; B. 445.
  • Gif hé gewitnesse hæbbe, ne þearf hé ðæt geldan (

    he is not bound by law to pay

    ),
      L. Alf. 28; Th. i. 52, 3.
  • Ne þearf hé him onfón,

      L. In. 67; Th. i. 146, 4.
  • Mé ðæt riht ne þinceþ, ðæt ic óleccan þurfe Gode,

      Cd. Th. 19, 13; Gen. 290.
  • Ðæt ðú ne wéne, ðæt ðú Iudéa leásungum gelýfan þurfe

    that you may not think, that you are bound to believe the Jews' false tales,

      Blickl. Homl. 177, 35.
  • Hé suiðor his mód gebint tó ðǽm unnyttran weorcum, ðonne hé ðyrfe (

    more than is fitting for him

    ),
      Past, 4; Swt. 37, 21.
  • Ðonne mon má fæst, ðonne hé ðyrfe (

    more than religion requires

    ),
      43; Swt. 313, 2.
  • Gif ða gyltas tó ðam hefelíce beón, ðæt hé tó bisceopes dóme tǽcan þurfe (

    he must do it because the church has prescribed such a course

    ),
      L. Ecg. P. i. 11; Th. ii. 176,30.
  • Gedón hí ðæt hira synna ne ðyrfen (

    need not, because of the divine ordinance

    ) bión gesewene æt ðæm nearwan dóme,
      Past. 53; Swt. 413, 16.
with the idea of compulsion, or where the inevitability of a consequence is expressed; in some cases the word might be taken almost as an auxiliary, of much the same force as
shall; to be obliged, be compelled by destiny
Show examples
  • Gé ne þurfon hér leng wunian

    you shall not be obliged to stop here longer,

      Ex. 9, 28.
  • Nis ðæt þonne nǽnig man, ðæt þurfe ðone deópan grund ðæs hátan léges gesécean,

      Blickl. Homl. 103, 14.
  • Næs him ǽnig þearf, ðæt hé sécean þurfe

    there was no need to force him to seek,

      Beo. Th. 4984; B. 2495.
  • Feallaþ ofor ús, ðæt wé ne þurfon ðysne ege leng þrowian,

      Blickl. Homl. 93, 34.
  • Þý læs gyt láð Gode weorðan þyrfen

    lest the inevitable consequence, your becoming hateful to God, follow,

      Cd. Th. 36, 26; Gen. 577.
  • Þý læs ða týdran mód ða gewitnesse wendan þurfe,

      Exon. Th. 147, 21; Gú. 730.
  • Náuht ðæs ðe hé ondréde, ðæt hé forleósan þorfte (

    should be obliged to lose

    ),
      Bt. 26, 2; Fox 92, 22.
  • Hwý him on hige þorfte (

    should necessarily follow

    ) á þý sǽl wesan,
      Met. 15, 9.
  • Hú hé ðisse worulde wynna þorfte læsast brúcan

    how he should be least under the necessity of enjoying the delights of this world,

      Exon.Th. 122, 20; Gú. 308.
  • Ðæt ðæt micle morð menn ne þorfton þolian

    that men would not necessarily have to suffer that great perdition,

      Cd. Th. 40, 17; Gen. 640.
to have good cause or
reason for doing something
Show examples
  • Ðú sorge ne þearft beran on ðínum breóstum,

      Cd. Th. 45, 28; Gen. 733.
  • Ic ðé scylde, ne þearft ðú forht wesan,

      131, 5; Gen. 2171: Blickl. Homl. 191, 18: Beo. Th. 3353: B. 1674.
  • Ðú ðec sylfne ne þearft swíþor swencan, gif ðú God lufast,

      Exon. Th. 245, 18; Jul. 46.
  • Ðæt is genóg sweotol, ðætte nánne mon ðæs tweógean ne þearf,

      Bt. 11, 2; Fox 34, 34: Blickl. Homl. 41, 36: 83, 9.
  • Ne þearf ðæs nán mon wénan,

      101, 13: 109, 30.
  • Ne ðarf mon ná ðone medwísan lǽran, ðæt hé ða lotwrencas forlǽte, forðonðe hé hié næfþ,

      Past. 30; Swt. 203, 15.
  • Ne þearf hé gefeón

    he will have no cause to rejoice,

      Cd. Th. 92, 4; Gen. 1523: Exon. Th. 449, 9; Dóm. 68: Beo. Th. 4016; B. 2006.
  • Mé wítan ne ðearf Waldend,

      5475; B. 2741: Cd. Th. 165, 7; Gen. 2728.
  • Ne ðurfe wé ceorian,

      Homl. Th. ii. 438, 27.
  • Ne þurfan gé nóht besorgian, hwæt gé sprecan,

      Blickl. Homl. 171, 18.
  • Ne þurfe gé beón unróte,

      135, 24.
  • Ne þurfon gé wénan,

      Exon. Th. 142, 16; Gú. 645.
  • Ne þurfon mé hæleð ætwítan,

      Byrht. Th. 139, 4; By. 249.
  • Ic eów secgan mæg, ðæt gé ne ðyrfen leng murnan,

      Judth. Thw. 23, 33; Jud. 153.
  • Sume him ondrǽdaþ earfoþu swíþor þonne hý þyrfen,

      Bt. 39, 11; Fox 228, 24.
  • Gif hé náne ǽhta næfde, ne þorfte hé nánne feónd ondrǽdan ... Gif ðú swelces nánuuht næfdest ne þorftest ðú ðé nánwuht ondrǽdan,

      14, 3; Fox 46, 23-28.
  • Nö hé ðære feohgyfte scamigan þorfte,

      Beo. Th. 2057; B. 1026: 2147; B. 1071.
  • Hwǽr hé ðara nægla swíðast wénan þorfte

    where he had most reason to expect that he should find the nails,

      Elen. Kmbl. 2206; El. 1104.
  • Nó wé þus swíðe swencan þorftan, þǽr ðú freónda lárum hýran wolde,

      Exon. Th. 129, 19; Gú. 423.
  • Ne þorfton hí hlúde hlihhan,

      Cd. Th. 5, 17; Gen. 73.
  • Hí gearowe wǽron deáðe sweltan, gif hí ðorfton (

    if the occasion demanded it

    ),
      Homl. Th. ii. 130, 5.
where the need arises from an advantage to be gained, or purpose to be served,
to be use, to be good for a person to do something
Show examples
  • Ne þearf ic yrfestól bytlian

    it is no good or use for me to build an hereditary seat,

      Cd. Th. 131, 14; Gen. 2176.
  • Ne þearft ðú sæce rǽran,

      Elen. Kmbl. 1876; El. 940.
to owe, cf. sculan, I
Show examples
  • Ne þearf ic N. sceatt ne scilling, ne pænig ne pæniges weorð; ac eal ic him gelǽste ðæt ðæt ic him scolde,

      L. O. 11; Th. i. 182, 9.
Etymology
[Goth. þarf, pl. þaurbum; prs.; þaurfta; p.; þaurbands; prs. ptcpl.: O. Sax. tharf, pl. thurƀun; prs.; thorfta; p.: O. Frs. thurf, thorf, pl. thurvon; prs.: O. H. Ger. darf tharf, pl. durfun, thurfun; prs.; dorfta; p.: Icel. þurfa; þarf, pl. þurfum; prs. þurfti; p.; þurfandi; prs. ptcpl.]
Similar entries
v. be-þurfan; þearfan, þearfian, þorfan.
Linked entries
v.  þearf ge-þurfan þyrfende.
Full form

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  • þurfan, v.