Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Archaic To call; name.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To give a call; cry out; appeal.
  • v. To call; call upon; cry out to.
  • v. To call to one's self; invite; summon.
  • v. To call; call by the name of; name.
  • v. (often with on) To tell lies about; inform against (someone).
  • v. To be loquacious; tattle; gossip.
  • v. To report; relate; tell.
  • n. A cry; an appeal; a call.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To call, or name.
  • intransitive v. To make appeal; to cry out.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To give a call; cry out; appeal.
  • To call; call upon; cry out to.
  • To call to one's self; invite; summon.
  • To call by the name of; name.
  • n. A cry; an appeal; a call.

Etymologies

Middle English clepen, from Old English cleopian, to cry out.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English clepen, clepien, from Old English cleopian, clipian ("to speak, cry out, call, summon, invoke, cry to, implore"), from Proto-Germanic *klipōnan (“to ring, sound”), from Proto-Indo-European *gal- (“to sound”). Cognate with Old Frisian klippa, kleppa ("to ring"), Dutch kleppen ("to toll, chatter"), Middle Low German kleppen ("to strike, sound"), Middle Low German kleperen ("to rattle"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And than he leet clepe in alle the lordes, that he made voyden first out of his chambre; and there he schewed me 4, that weren grete lordes in the contree, that tolden me of my contree, and of many othere Cristene contrees, als wel as thei had ben of the same contree: and thei spak Frensche righte wel; and the Sowdan also, where of I had gret marvaylle.

    The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • Apostles, and was clept Julian, and was made bisschoppe: and this is the same Julyan, that men clepe to for gede herberghgage; for oure Lord herberwed with him, in his hows.

    The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • And some putten wax in oyle of the wode of the fruyt of bawme, and seyn that it is bawme: and sume destyllen clowes of gylofre and of spykenard of Spayne and of othere spices, that ben well smellynge; and the lykour that gothe out there of, thei clepe it bawme: and thei wenen, that thei han bawme; and thei have non.

    The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • The first statute was, that thei scholde beleeven and obeyen in God inmortalle, that is allemyghty, that wolde casten hem out of servage; and at alle tymes clepe to him for help, in tyme of nede.

    The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • For men werein wont for to clepe that place, the feld of Damasce; because that it was in the lordschipe of Damask.

    The Voyages and Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • In that valley is a field, where men draw out of the earth a thing that men clepe cambile, and they eat it instead of spices, and they bear it to sell.

    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • And there is a full fair vale and a fructuous; and there is a fair city and a good that men clepe

    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • And in the midst of the vale is a little river that men clepe TORRENS

    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • From thence go men to Samaria that men clepe now Sebast; and that is the chief city of that country, and it sits between the hill of Aygnes as Jerusalem doth.

    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

  • And for the name of the isle, they clepe it Tracodon.

    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

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