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Cite this: eDIL s.v. mebair or
Last Revised: 2013


Forms: mebuir, mebar, -ur, memor, mebair, mebra, mebra, meabar, mebra

n i, f., (Lat. memoria). O.Ir. mebuir, Wb. 20a5 ; in Mid.Ir. also mebar (-or, -ur), memor.

(a) recollection, memory ( = that which is remembered), generally in early lit. as pred. of cop. and passing often into a pure adj. = remembered ; esp. in phrase: is m.¤ limm it is a memory with me, I remember . cani mebuir lib in senchas so? do ye not remember this story? Wb. 20a5 . m.¤ lem in ní dia fuil, Acall. 2491. memur lim aní diatá, ZCP viii 517.8 ( LL 191a28 ). memor latt . . . aní dosfuc, Metr. Dinds. iii 102. ba mebur lais an laíd, BColm. 98.22 . linn as mebar gan merblad we remember it without mistake, BB 13b = MacCarthy 310 (leg. mebair , : lebair). raḟiarfaigh doib inar meabor leo Tain Bó Cuilgni ina hóige, ACL iii 4.22 . With pl. subj. used in pl. (?) form mebra: bit mebra lim-sa rim lá | a n-anmand, LL 16a9 = at memra liomsa, Leb. Gab.(i) i 246. anmanna na sceul sin at mebra lat, Anecd. ii 43.8 , cf. ib. 3 . meabhra lim . . . a n-uirt is a n-anmanna, AFM i 134 (poem). In the follg. ex.: ` indat mebhair-siu itir' bar F. `isna airigthib gascid danímmís ac Scathaig?' `Isamm mebhair ám écin' bar C., TBC-LL¹ 3552 ( = an meabair leatsa . . . As meabair, St.), the forms indat, isamm probably represent 3 s. cop.+dat. pron. With fri of pers. remembering: memur fri cach sobard sen | a fhorard, Auraic. 1996. In follg. exx. mebra appears as a pure adj.: do laíde bid lán-mebra thy lays shall be fully remembered, Metr. Dinds. iii 366. anmanna . . . do neoch dibh batar mebra [mebair v.l.] ndo of such of them as he remembered, Anecd. ii 43 § 3. geasa righ aluinn Eamhna | ┐ a lann lanmebhra, BB 280b43 = lán-chalma, Leb. Cert. 248.6 .

(b) as subst.: ? luan ┐ mairt, meabair mbind, Laws iv 216.31 (poem). ata a meabhair agam I remember them, BNnÉ 178 § 31. is meisdi go meinic meabair | mad eimilt leabair in laeidh if . . . be prolix, the harder it is to remember it, Ériu x 88 § 109 (leg. meabar . . . leabar ?). do (de ?) mebair by heart, by rote: gabail ind tsailm de memur, Mon. Tall. § 39. co ro techta do mebair a créda he should keep in memory his `credo', PH 4178. ge maith egna do mebar though wisdom committed to memory is good, ZCP xii 385.23 . gach a cluinedh . . . do bhídh aigi do meabair, Acall. 631. nach léigheann líne lebair Dubartán . . . 's gan aonfhocal do mhebair that D. cannot read one line of a book nor has even a word by rote, SG 280. do cuirthí do mheamhair leis na macaibh fóghluma é was committed to memory, Keat. i p. 90 . co nach bi ní da gcluineadh gan a bheith do ghlainmeabhrae aige, MR 282.7 . go dtí an bráth biaidh ar meabhair an céadlá 'until the Judgement come they will remember the first day' Éigse xxi 42 § 10 . The form mebra may have come in later Mid.Ir. to be regarded as a variant and used in all cases.

Hence the faculty of memory: ba hollom berla féne, | ba leignid lēire mebra, LL 201b42 . toil ┐ tuigse ┐ meabhair, TSh. 5266 , cf. 827 . maoladh na meamhrach, 1785 .

(c) in early Mod.Ir. used in wider sense, reason, intelligence: níor mhíadh ┐ níor mheabhair leis labhairt ria he deemed it neither honourable nor sensible, RC xxix 142 § 65. ba cheannsa meabhair chum réitigh `that had a gentle way of making peace', O'Rah. xxvi 51 (1911). éicen denamh a ndubairt . . . ni hiarrtha acht mebair Maghnais the mind (desire) of M., Irish Texts ii p. 52 § 19 (cf. Eng. `I have a mind to . . .').