What is this word "seneney"? Am I right?

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  • 9
    Note that you should have said that you were quoting from the Bible, and given book/chapter/verse.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 15, 2019 at 21:04
  • 1
    @JJJ Yes, Wycliffe published on the cusp of Early Middle English becoming Late Middle English. Adding the tag might help future visitors.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 16, 2019 at 8:41
  • 2
    @Andrew Leach. Ah, Middle Middle English. Jun 16, 2019 at 16:02
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach - In other words, Muddle English.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 16, 2019 at 20:36
  • 3
    Close-voters: there is no commonly-available reference which contains the word seneney or seveney or even senevey, once that word has been identified. Also, the OP may not have known that the excerpt came from Wycliffe's Bible. If he did, he certainly should have said so, but it's not for someone else to take that out of an answer. I'm reopening and rolling back that edit.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 17, 2019 at 6:29

1 Answer 1


This is Matthew 13:31

... put before them, and said: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. Which is the least of all seeds but when it is grown...”

The quoted script appears to be from Wycliffe's Bible of 1395, which is online via Studylight.org:

Another parable Jhesus puttide forth to hem, and seide, The kyngdom of heuenes is lijk to a corn of seneuey, which a man took, and sewe in his feeld.

They have (in modern letters) senevey which can be found in OED as senvy:


  1. The mustard plant: see ᴍᴜsᴛᴀʀᴅ n. 2.

Etymology: < Old French senevé, also -vei, -vel, -vil (modern French sénevé) < popular Latin *sināpātium, < sināpi mustard.

  • 1
    +1 nice catch... Jun 15, 2019 at 21:03
  • 3
    Shouldn't that be "... toke and sewe in his feld"?
    – CJ Dennis
    Jun 16, 2019 at 5:22
  • 2
    I quoted the website. Note that printing only started in England in 1476, so there may well be inconsistencies between different copies of Wycliffe's Bible.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 16, 2019 at 8:37

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