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1 ro, ru preverb used with various forms of a finite vb. whether
50simple or compound; lenites follg. consonant except, in Old
Irish, when in pretonic position. (Its use as a fixed preverb in
the composition of many compd. vbs. is not dealt with here).
Under the accent it somet. assumes the form ra, e.g. doràla
(= do-ro-la); and in O.Ir. becomes ri in the vb. dogní
55(pret. 3 s. dorigéni, dorigni); with léicid, re (ní relic , Ml. 23b4 ,
nach reilced , 49a10 ). It is often attached as enclitic to a
conjunct particle: níro, náro, coro, later nír, nár, cor.
In O.Ir. when used with a compd. vb. ro orig. followed all
fixed preverbs: doro-r-ban (to-ro-ben-), Ml. 62a20 , duforbad
60(to-fo-ben-), 92b4 ; but this rule becomes obsolete already
in the O.Ir. period: do-r-airngert, Wb. 14c32 . Thurn. Hdb.
§§ 520 - 3 . ZCP xii 286 .
In O.Ir. the vbs. ro-fitir (really a perf. tense, see (a) follg.),
ro-cluinethar and ro-laimethar drop ro- only when preceded
65by another conjunct particle. For etymology and syntacti-
cal uses see Zimmer, KZ xxxvi 433 ff. ; Thurneysen, KZ xxxvii
52 ff. and ZCP xii 286 ; Strachan, Trans. Phil. Soc. 1896,
77 ff. ; 1897, 326 ff. ; 1899, 408 ff. ; RC xxiii 201 ; M. L.
Sjoestedt-Jonval, Études Celtiques iii 105 ff. , 219 ff.
70Used (a) with the pret. to express a perfect. ro comalnisid-
si an ro pridchissem-ni dúib, Wb. 26b6 . In mod. Ir. it is
displaced by do except after a neg. or a syntactical preverb:
do ghabh, nír ghabh, gach ar ghabh sé.
(b) with pres. ind. and subj. with perfective sense (generally
75to express an action which is completed before another takes
place); also with subj. after résiu `before', acht `provided
that
', `if only', co `until': in nuall dongniat ho rumaith fora
naimtea remib the cry they make when they have defeated their
enemies
, Ml. 51c9 . doberum . . . dilgud don fhoirind ronto-
80craidet, PH 7941 . cipe . . . ro-da-gatta, diren se whoever
steals them pays a fine
, Laws iv 198.18 . molid resiu ro cur-
sacha, Wb. 4a2 . act ro cretea deacht, 27b15 .
(c) to express potentiality or possibility, with all forms of
the vb.: ní rubai nach cruth ailiu it cannot be any other
85way
, Wb. 7b3 . asrobair mulier `meus filius' . . . a lleith
posessoris can say , Sg. 198a18 , cf. adrodarcar can be
seen
, 172a2 . niru rimiu . . . a ndorigenai I cannot re-
count
, Hy. v 41 (ruirmiu, rurimo, MSS., glossed: ni etaim a
thurim, F). dororbiu-sa I shall be able to hinder , ZCP iii 246.18
(< di-roben, see Ped. ii 445 ). nert ni dernim, rith ni rordaim
5[= ro rethim], leim nirolṅgaim [= ro lingim], RC xxv 24 § 4
( YBL 113b25 ). fer liath ro goin, ro gonar `knows how to deal
wounds and to receive them
', Fianaig. 24.16 . ni fail ro airme a
n-árim, SR 788 . ro chrú[th]fem-ne i fus ind pennit bes chóir
we shall be able to settle here and now , Mon. Tall. 7 . ni ruibem
10a n-aeininad we cannot stay together , Lism.L. 4333 . duss in
ruirmemis a lín if we could count , RC xvii 143.18 . in fuigh-
bed sib sén . . . ro díchuirfed na trí náimde út a hEirinn?
Acall. 6231 , cf. 6234 . an tan nād rimgab could not avoid ,
TBC² 1549 . ni ruba fer could not strike , Ériu v 32.24 . Cf.
15 is ann som ro citer polus ar[c]ticus there men see , Marco P.
42 .
Cf. also robo, rodbo ` it may be, perhaps ', somet. or, whether ,
which Pedersen, ii 287 , is inclined to regard as a pret. in sense
of a potential pres.: Wb. 14c24 , 16d7 . lubair ┐ legend, rodbu
20forcetail no scribend, Rule of Céli Dé 55 ( LB 11b13 ). rodbu
ar chairiguth ind uilc . . . rodbu ar demniguth in maith, Ériu
vii 162 § 5 .
(d) somet. instead of no with impf. ind. to express reiterated
action (cf. Strachan, Phil. Soc. Tr. 1899, 411 ): ro gnaithiged
25F. dol do dénum irnaigthi, RC xii 332 § 22 . ro caithed proinn
moirsesir, 334 § 24 . conid airi sin ro chaitdis a bfleadha,
Marco P. 12 . ro bheiredh an t-aingel . . . an sacrament dhó
gacha domnaigh, Fl. Earls 230.22 .
(e) in optative sent. with subj.: darolgea Dia doib May God
30forgive it to them
, Wb. 31a2 . ro béo-sa fort láim-siu isind
flaith, Fél. Prol. 273 . ni torgaitha he should not defraud , Wb.
25b5 . nár thugar-sa . . . cúis ar sgartha may I give no cause
for our separation
, Content. xxix 37 . mac Móire . . . gur ḟóire
ḟira Erenn, IGT Dec. ex. 269 .
35(f) somet. with subj. in a subord. indef. clause or after cia
`although': is inilliu do neoch naro faomae coibsena safer . . .
not to receive confessions
, Mon. Tall. 54 . is accobar lium coro
indiser duib in ní, PH 1486 . cia rabthai-si oca iarraid though
ye be seeking him
, 1977 .
40(g) instead of no in Old Irish with fut. and condit. of subst.
vb., to infix an obj. pron.; and regularly with condit. of
copula when no conjunct particle precedes. robad bethu
dom dían chomalninn, Wb. 3b28 . epert . . . rondbiad fáilte
libsi et robtis maithi for mbésasi ara chiunn 16b19 . ra-mbia
45dígal he shall have punishment , Wb. 27c13 . rob-bia indocbál
ye shall have glory , 13d32 . ropia [= robbia] ind fochricc,
16a13 , cf. 27c12 . SR 1256 . Fél. Jan. 13 . ro-bar-bia biadh,
ZCP v 501.16 . ra mbiad arcat . . . ro mbiad mór fina he
should have
, SC 11 . Cf. acht rom-tha rombaoi rom-bia | gach
50nidh dheonadh Dia dham, Ériu ix 50.29 . ro-far-cruthaigfe
doridisi, PH 6617 .
(h) in late Mid. and early Mod.Ir. often in rel. construction:
an t-airteagul ud ro chreidir, Luc. Fid. 301.12 . amhuil . . . ro
admhaighid na criosduidhthe, 375.5 .

55 2 ro intens. prefix used with adj. and subst., rarely with vb.,
lenites follg. cons. Found in earliest Irish only with adj. (ro,
ru); in Mid.Ir. common with subst. also (ro, ru, occas. ra).
Largely used in prose and poetry to form unstable compds.
(oft. merely for the sake of alliteration); the follg. lists are
60merely illustrative.
(a) with adj. used to denote the possession of a quality in
a high (but not necessarily excessive) degree; the notion of
excess is somet. implied and is usual in mod. Irish. robeg, gl.
minimum, Ir. Gl. 808 . cenid rubec ni romār (: dám) though
65it is not very small, it is not very large
, Thes. ii 292.9 ( Ml.
Poems ii. 2 ), cf. fer sóer . . . nadip rubecc nadip romar bed a
sommae whose wealth would not be very little nor very great ,
241.8 ( Ardm. 18a1 ). rubrigech, gl. praecipuum, Ml. 37b6 . inna
rubrícu , gl. praecipuos, 37b11 . i cill napa roacus . . . nipa
70rochian very near . . . very distant , Trip. 176.4 . cid umal
asberar bát roumal if [a man be] humble it is said that he is too
humble
, Mon. Tall. 76 . trefhocul . . . can rogair, can rofota,
Auraic. 5059 ( LL 37a6 ). co nach dighsedh suas co roard . . .
ná sís co roisil, ZCP iv 240.18 . rosc roglan roréil, SR 7684 .
75 co rognath habitually , 7242 . ri rohóc, ri sen (of God), 569 . ba
ro-moch lind ra gabais armu very early, too soon , TBC 1163 .
at' luir[i]g roinill, gl. lorica tutissima, Gild. Lor. 147 . maithi
┐ romaithi, uilc ┐ rouilcc very good . . . very bad , RC xxviii 316
§ 28 . do ríg ruilīnmar possessing very many attendants , ZCP
80 xiii 17.22 . ramach fa rīr | is dabach crīn in caland-sa too soon ,
Arch. iii 234 § 3 . fo damraid ruaid róireabaig, Acall. 496 .
dís ogánach ròisgemach, Mac Aingil 106.12 (= ro-scíamach?).
Used with compar. or superl. (late): gér mór . . . an t-eolus
do C.C. so, do ba mó ┐ do ba romo dō eolass flaithis De much
85greater
, BCC § 366 . gurab romhó ioná sin, TSh. 10962 . reacht
an tí is roairde (= altissimi), 4798 . cá chás as ròdhoilge?
what case is more difficult ? O'Gr. Cat. 478.10 (: comoirle).
póg is romhillse ná mil, Dánta Grádha xviii 5 .
(b) with subst.; chiefly abstracts to denote high degree of
the quality, etc. expressed: a rochendsa fri arailib . . . a
5roacairbe fri lucht aile, FA 9 . duine teimen co nglanc[h]ēill
. . . nin-len robaes, ZCP vi 267 § 10 . ní bat rúi it robethaid
`all thy life long', Met. Dinds. iii 352.70 . ni denam robríg de
we do not think overmuch of him , TBC 859 . mo chen ┐ mo
rochen, a meic F.! (a welcome), Sitzungsb. Pr. Akad. 1912
10xxv 438 . rocholl co nderchoined (offspring of avarice), ZCP
iii 25.37 = rochall `corruption', Ériu vii 152 § 1 (c) ; see also
rocholl below. eochair ratha rochruth, ZCP vi 270 § 2 . Roḟis
mac Rochuind `Great-Knowledge son of Great-Sense', RC xxvi
30.136 . go fuair a raghuin do rinn, Ir. Texts ii 14 § 28
15(: agaidh). roítu excessive thirst , Mon. Tall. 43 . ar cruas ar
romhaithe against severity and indulgence (?), ZCP vi 258.6 .
rométt na roṡoillse, viii 200 § 9 . ar rofhad ┐ ar roghirre, IGT,
Introd. 216 . Similarly with vn. to denote completeness of
achievement, etc.: is gnáth rochotlud iar mor-thoirsi deep
20sleep
, PH 3049 . ic raen ┐ ic rotuitim, CCath. 784 . caisléin
. . . do rébadh, ┐ do robhrisedh, FM v 1744.22 . don rachēim
rucc Eachtair án great step, exploit , ZCP vi 269 § 10 (: Aichēil).
ro ḟéimidh róibhleith to grind too much (long ), Keat. ii 5248
(poem).
25With common noun, to denote size, strength or kindred
quality: do rúadgním a roairm, LL 183b31 ( Arch. Hib. ii
70 § 8 ). roth rocharpait, FB 34 . isí Rōm an rochell the great
church
, BColm. 78.21 , cf. roichell, ZCP x 53 § 8 (of Rachru).
rodam a great ox (see below s.v.). rodoman, LL 393a53 ( Ält.
30Ir. Dicht. ii 22 § 1 ). d'erlaind in rógai big spear , LL 267b15 ( MU
36.33 ). ail fri rolainn (: Coluimb), ZCP viii 198.3 (of Colum
C.; d s. of lann `blade', `piece of land'?). roscél important
tidings
, LL 375a31 . Ériu i 138.24 . co rancatar gach roraí,
ZCP xii 246 § 22 (see róe). rosét a great treasure , TBC 2765 .
35 rosluag, CCath. 123 . rothorc a big boar , Keat. ii 3973 (poem).
rothreib (a s.) `fine dwelling', Met. Dinds. iii 352.53 .
Of persons, to denote power, pre-eminence, rank: naomthri-
noit róathar, ZCP vi 258.13 . roben (see below s.v.). ro-
c[h]aeime an rōcoimdegh [= rochoimded], ZCP viii 200.30
40(of God). roduine (see below s.v.). roḟéinnidh, Cóir Anm. 134 .
romhac, Arch. iii 304.23 . Laws iv 346 . ro-ollomh, ZCP viii
109 § 4 . rorí, SR 547 . LL 182b10 ( Arch. Hib. ii 56 § 23 ).
róthigearna, Ériu viii 136.2 . BNnÉ 251 § 206 .
Occas. used with proper nouns: ro-Themra (g s.), Met.
45Dinds. ii 68.44 , cf. iii 374.100 . gu ro-Eas Ruaid, BB 268b50 .
a roLagniu `ye great Leinster-men', RC xiii 42 § 22 ( LL 296b6 ,
cf. 15 ).
(c) rarely with vb., with emphasizing force: rot-ro-baeth
has indeed befooled thee , SR 3119 . rī ro rochar Abial who
50greatly loved
, 2816 . conidh i ind ḟingal sin ro roscar flaithius
nErenn fri clainn Echach, Rawl. 142a22 . Cf. do róchuir i
gcómhbhroid . . . ógbhaidh na Fódla, Keat. Poems 125 .