Just discovered an amazing word which I just must find a way to use someday.
† dern, adj. and n.1
Forms: OE derne, West Saxon dierne, dyrne, ME s.w. dyrne, ME–16 derne, ME, 16 dearne, ME ... (Show More) Frequency (in current use): Etymology: Old English derne, dierne, dyrne = Old Saxon derni, Old Frisian dern, hidden, secret, obscure, Old High German tarni lying hid < Old Germanic *darnjo-.(Show Less) Obsolete or archaic. A.adj.
†1. Thesaurus »
a. Of actions, etc.: Done or proceeding in secret or in the dark; kept concealed; hence, dark, of evil or deceitful nature. Obsolete. c897 K. Ælfred tr. Gregory Pastoral Care xiii. 78 Ðylæs ða smyltnesse ðes domes hine gewemme [oððe] se dyrna [v.r. dierna] æfst, oððe to hræd irre.
OE Beowulf 2168 Swa sceal mæg don, nealles inwitnet oðrum bregdon dyrnum cræfte. c1220 Bestiary 90 Old in hise sinnes derne. c1300 Beket 23 The Princes douȝter..lovede him in durne love. a1325 (▸c1250) Gen. & Exod. (1968) l. 1950 vdas ðor-quiles gaf hem red, Ðat was fulfilt of derne sped. c1405 (▸c1390) G. Chaucer Miller's Tale (Hengwrt) (2003) l. 14 This clerk..Of derne loue he koude and of solas. a1500 (▸a1460) Towneley Plays (1994) I. xxx. 409 Now bese vnlokyn Many dern dede. c1540 (▸?a1400) Destr. Troy 478 Dissyring full depely in her derne hert. arch.
[a1643 W. Cartwright Ordinary (1651) v. iv. 84 Hent him, for dern love Hent him.] (Hide quotations)
a. Not made known, kept unrevealed or private; not divulged. Obsolete. c1000 West Saxon Gospels: Luke (Corpus Cambr.) viii. 47 Ða þæt wif geseah þæt hit him næs dyrne, heo com forht. c1175 Ormulum (Burchfield transcript) l. 9236 Forr crist wass i þatt time ȝet. All unncuþ. & all dærne.
?c1225 (▸?a1200) Ancrene Riwle (Cleo. C.vi) (1972) 121 God hise dearne runes & heouenliche priuetez schaude hise leoueste freont. c1330 Assump. Virg. (B.M. MS.) 856 No man mai wite ne se What is þi derne priuete. c1380 J. Wyclif Wks. (1880) 353 Poule..herd derne wordes of God. (Hide quotations)
†b. Of a person: Treated as a confidant; entrusted with hidden matters; privy. Obsolete. a1400 (▸a1325) Cursor Mundi (Vesp.) l. 6509 Þis moyses was ful dern and dere To drightin..He taght him tabels of þe lai. (Hide quotations)
†c. to hold, keep (a thing) dern. Obsolete. c1000 Ags. Ps. cxviii. [cxix.] 19 Ne do þu me dyrne þine þa deoran bebodu.
?1507 W. Dunbar Tua Mariit Wemen (Rouen) in Poems (1998) I. 53 We dule for na euill deid, sa it be derne haldin. a1575 How Merchande dyd Wyfe Betray 175 in W. C. Hazlitt Remains Early Pop. Poetry Eng. (1864) l. 204 I pray the..As thou art my trewe weddyd fere, In thy chaumber thou woldest kepe me dern. (Hide quotations)
3. Of places, etc.: Secret, not generally known, private. archaic.
OE Cynewulf Elene 1080 Wolde ic þæt ðu funde þa ðe in foldan gen deope bedolfen dierne sindon, heolstre behyded.
OE Beowulf 2320 Se guðsceaða..hord eft gesceat, dryhtsele dyrnne. c1275 (▸?a1200) Laȝamon Brut (Calig.) (1963) l. 3364 Þe king hine lette don in-to ane derne [c1300 Otho deorne] bure. c1330 (▸?c1300) Guy of Warwick (Auch.) l. 1289 On a dern stede he dede hem hide. a1400–50 Alexander 4045 Darke in dennes vndire dounes & in derne holis.
1584 Sc. Acts Jas. VI (1814) 305 (Jam.) Gun pulder..placeit..within the voltis, laiche and darne partes and placeis thairof.
1806 R. Forsyth Beauties Scotl. IV. 360 At the south-east corner is the darn, or private gate.
1814 W. Scott Waverley I. xii. 168 That Davie Gellatly should meet them at the dern path .
1814 W. Scott Waverley I. xviii. 275 There's not a dern nook, or cove, or corri, in the whole country, that he's not acquainted with. (Hide quotations)
4. Of places: Serving well to conceal, as lying out of the way, dark, etc.; hence, dark, sombre, solitary, wild, drear. archaic.
1488 (▸c1478) Hary Actis & Deidis Schir William Wallace (Adv.) (1968–9) iv. l. 430 Fast on to Tay, his buschement can he draw. In a dern woode thai stellit thaim full law.
?1507 W. Dunbar Tua Mariit Wemen (Rouen) in Poems (1998) I. 47 Thai drank and did away dule vnder derne bewis.
1609 W. Shakespeare Pericles x. 15 By many a dearne and painefull pearch Of Perycles the carefull search..Is made.
1612 T. Shelton tr. M. de Cervantes Don-Quixote: Pt. 1 xii. 240 He searching Adventures blind Among these dearn Woods and Rocks.
1647 H. More Philos. Poems ii. iii. iii. xli Sing we to these wast hills, dern, deaf, forlorn.
1673 J. Ray N. Countrey Words in Coll. Eng. Words 14 Deafely: Lonely, solitary, far from neighbours. Dearn, signifies the same.
1813 J. Hogg Queen's Wake ii. ix. 104 'Mid wastes that dern and dreary lie. (Hide quotations)
5. Dark, drear, dire. archaic.
1570 P. Levens Manipulus Vocabulorum sig. Riii/1 Dearne, dirus.
1613 W. Leigh Drumme of Devotion 35 The light of Israel was put out for a time, Queene Elizabeth died, a dearne day to England, had it not beene presently repayred with as cleare a light from Scotland.
1613 W. Leigh Drumme of Devotion 39 Prognostications of our dearne light.
1650 N. Ward Discolliminium 46 These derne, dreery, direfull dayes condunghill'd and uglified me into a darke dense lumpe.
1845 T. Cooper Purgatory of Suicides i. xxii. 8 It was a wilderness Of all things dern and doleful, dark and drear.
1856 S. T. Dobell Eng. in Time of War 64 The awful twilight, dern and dun. (Hide quotations)
†6. Deep, profound, intense. literal and figurative. Obsolete. c1500 Spirit. Remedies in J. O. Halliwell Nugæ Poeticæ (1844) 64 My myddelle woundys they bene derne and depe, Ther ys no plaster that persyth aryght. c1540 (▸?a1400) Destr. Troy 3060 Hir chyn full choise was the chekys benethe, With a dympull full derne, daynté to se.
1594 Warres of Cyrus ii. 194 Who wounded with report of beauties pride, Vnable to restraine his derne desire. (Hide quotations)
†1. A hidden thing; a secret. Obsolete. a1000 Gnom. Vers. (Gr.) 2 Nelle ic þe min dyrne gesecgan. a1300 E.E. Psalter l. 8 [li. 6] (Mätz.) Derne of þi wisdam þou opened unto me. a1340 R. Rolle Psalter xliii. 23 God.. knawis all þe dern in oure hert. (Hide quotations)
†2. Secrecy, concealment, privacy. Chiefly in dern, in secret. Obsolete. a1250 Owl & Nightingale 608 Ich can nimen mus at berne, An ek at Chirche in þe derne. a1400 (▸a1325) Cursor Mundi (Vesp.) l. 21250 Marc, men sais, it wratte in dern. a1400 (▸a1325) Cursor Mundi (Vesp.) l. 2935 Sister, to þe in dern i sai, þou seis þe folk er all a-wai. c1475 (▸?c1425) Avowing of King Arthur (1984) l. 824 I am comun here, loe, In derne for to play.
▸ ?a1513 W. Dunbar Tua Mariit Wemen in Poems (1998) I. 41 I drew in derne to the dyk to dirkin efter mirthis. (Hide quotations)
†3. A secret place; a place of concealment. a1340 R. Rolle Psalter xxx. 25 Þou sall hide þaim in dern of þi face.
▸ ?a1500 R. Henryson tr. Æsop Fables: Fox & Wolf l. 755 in Poems (1981) 32 Vnto ane derne for dreid he him addrest. c1500 Leaues true Love (W. de W.) To a derne I me droughe Her wyll to knowe. (Hide quotations)