From the second edition (1989):
lore, n.1
(lɔə(r)) Forms: α. 1 lár, laar, 2 lar, 2–3 lare. Also north. and Sc. 4–5 lar, 5 layre, 6 layr, 4–5, 9 lare, 5– lair. See also lear. β. 4–6 loore, 5 loor, 7 loare, 3– lore. [OE. lár str. fem. = OS. lêra (MDu. le(e)re, Du. leer), OHG. lêra (MHG. lêre, G. lehre):—OTeut. *laizâ, f. root lais-: cf. learn v.]


1. The act of teaching; the condition of being taught; instruction, tuition, education. In particularized use: A piece of teaching or instruction; a lesson. Now arch. and dial. Phr. †to set to lore: to place under instruction, send to school. at, to the lair (Sc.): at or to school.

971 Blickl. Hom. 47 Ne sceolan þa lareowas aimeleasian þa lare. a1225 Leg. Kath. 116 Hire feder hefde iset hire earliche to lare. a1300 Cursor M. 12416 Yeitt þe folk soght eft as ar, To sett iesu to werld lar. c1375 Sc. Leg. Saints xl. (Ninian) 25 Wele entendand til his lare he wes al tyme. c1380 Wyclif Serm. Sel. Wks. I. 392 What kyn þingis ben writun ben writun to oure lore. 1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) VI. 83 Oswy bytook his douȝter to þe lore of Hilda. a1413 Hoccleve Compl. Soule 294 Wks. (1897) iii. p. lx, Placebo mvst go before, As doth the Crosse in the litel childes lore. c1440 York Myst. xi. 181 A! lorde of lyffe, lere me my layre. c1470 Henryson Mor. Fab. iv. (Fox's Confess.) v, Weill worth my father, that send me to the lair. 1502 Arnolde Chron. (1811) 207 Who wil not for shame a short tyme suffir lore and lerne. 1526 Skelton Magnyf. 1980 Take this caytyfe to thy lore. 1667 Milton P.L. ii. 815 She finish'd, and the suttle Fiend his lore Soon learnd. 1771 Antiq. Sarisb. 6 Therein you may find many an excellent Lore That unto your Wives you may teach. 1798 Coleridge Nightingale 41 We have learnt A different lore. 1855 Robinson Whitby Gloss., Lare or Lear, learning, instruction. 1866 Neale Sequences & Hymns 59 In the Cross we found our pulpit, In the Seven great Words, our lore.


2. That which is taught; (a person's) doctrine or teaching. Applied chiefly to religious doctrine, but used also with reference to moral principles (e.g. virtue's lore). Now poet. or arch.

c950 Lindisf. Gosp. John vii. 16 Min laar ne is min ah ðæs seðe sende mec. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 13 Gif e cherrat from me ower heortam and to-brecað mine lare. c1275 Moral Ode 129 (Jesus Coll. MS.) Bilef sunne hwil þu myht, and do bi godes lore. c1386 Chaucer Prol. 527 But cristes loore, and hise Apostles twelue, He taughte, and first he folwed it hym selue. c1420 Lydg. Assembly of Gods 2074 Walke ye the way of Vertu hys loore. 1483 Caxton G. de la Tour Prol. Aij, They shal remembre somme good ensample or some good lore. 1551 Crowley Pleas. & Pain 591 Directyng their wayes by Gooddis holy lore. 1567 Gude & Godlie Ball. (S.T.S.) 13 From unbeleue, and Lollardis lair. 1571 T. Fortescue Forests 98 He began first to honour the Christians, permitting them to live after their loore and order. 1590 Spenser F.Q. i. i. 5 So pure and innocent‥She was in life and every vertuous lore. 1622 Massinger Virg. Mart. ii. ii, So deepe a blow To the Religion here and Pagan lore As this. 1671 Milton P.R. i. 483 Most men admire Vertue, who follow not her lore. 1805 Scott Last Minstr. i. viii, Can piety the discord heal‥Can Christian lore, can patriot zeal, Can love of blessed charity? 1838 Trench Honor Neale 39 in Sabbation, etc. 23 Where the pure doctrine and the lore of Christ Was truly taught.


b. pl. Doctrines, precepts, ordinances. Obs.

971 Blickl. Hom. 35 We sceolan‥healdan‥þa lara þara feower godspellera. a1300 Cursor M. 21346 Þir four [ewangelistes] for us ai prai to dright Þat we mai folu þair lares right. c1380 Wyclif Wks. (1880) 303 Takynge hede to spiritis of errour & to loris of fendis. 1551 Robinson tr. More's Utop. ii. (1895) 211 We haue taken vpon vs to shewe and declare theyr lores and ordenaunces. 1580 H. Gifford Gilloflowers (1875) 146 His lores (quoth will) are very sowre, His precepts are but colde.


c. A form of doctrine, a creed, religion. Obs.

a1225 Leg. Kath. 1011 Leaf þi lease wit‥& liht to ure lare. c1330 Owayn Miles (1837) 22 Of man and wimen that ther lay That crid allas and waileway For her wicked lore. 14‥ Sir Beues 1187 (MS. C.), Y haue leuyd on false lore. 1560 J. Daus tr. Sleidane's Comm. 190 If we should forsake this fayth, and fal vnto their lore. c1550 Exam. W. Thorpe in Foxe A. & M. (1583) I. 533 To mayntayne theyr sect & lore agaynst the ordinaunce of holy Church.


d. Rule of behaviour. Obs.

13‥ E.E. Allit. P. A. 236 Enclynande lowe in wommon lore. c1485 Digby Myst. (1882) ii. 110 By my trowth than be ye changyd to a new lore. A seruand ye are and that a good.


3. Advice, counsel; instruction, command, order.

a1300 K. Horn 472, I schal‥do, lemman, þi lore [v.r. do after þi lore]. c1320 Sir Tristr. 258 And bad al schuld be boun And to his lores liþe. c1400 Rom. Rose 5153 For alle yede out an oon ere That in that other she dide lere; Fully on me she lost hir lore. 14‥ Sir Beues 1386 (MS. M.), I wyll ffor-sake hym nevure the more For none oþure kynges lore. c1530 H. Rhodes Bk. Nurture 140 in Babees Bk., Pare not thy nayles, fyle not the cloth; see thou obserue this lore. 1556 Abp. Parker Ps. Giv, We will renounce that they pronounce, their loores as stately lordes. 1667 Milton P.L. ix. 1128 Understanding rul'd not, and the Will Heard not her lore.


4. Used vaguely, esp. in alliterative poetry, for: Something that is spoken; information; story; language. Obs.

c1350 Will. Palerne 2070 Mi ladi for ani lore lengeþ in þis cite ȝut. a1400–50 Alexander 523 If ȝow likis of þis lare to lesten any forthire. Ibid. 5652 Sum in latens lare sum langage of grece. c1420 Chron. Vilod. st. 1013, Y nyl not þerof speke now to ȝow no lore.


5. That which is learned; learning, scholarship, erudition. Now only arch. and Sc. (in the form lair, lear). Also, in recent use, applied (with a colouring derived from contexts like quot. 1766) to the body of traditional facts, anecdotes, or beliefs relating to some particular subject; chiefly with attributive n., as animal lore, bird lore, fairy lore, plant lore.
In the Gentl. Mag. for June, 1830, p. 503, a correspondent suggested that Eng. compounds of lore should be substituted for the names of sciences in -ology: e.g. birdlore for ornithology, earthlore for geology, starlore for astronomy, etc. The suggestion was never adopted, though some few words out of the long list of those proposed are occasionally used, not as names of sciences, but in the sense above explained. In German, several compounds of the equivalent lehre are in regular use as names of sciences or departments of study: e.g. sprachlehre (= speech-lore) grammar. Cf. folklore.

a1225 Ancr. R. 134 Of dumbe bestes & of dumbe fueles leorneð wisdom & lore. a1225 Leg. Kath. 939 Þes is al þe lare Þat ich nu leorni [L. hic est philosophia mea]. c1350 Will. Palerne 2917 Þat comli quen hade a prest a konyng man of lore. 1398 Trevisa Barth. De P.R. xviii. xliv. (1495) 805 Elephauntes kepeth loore and dysciplyne of the sterres and in wexyng of the mone go to ryuers. c1400 Cursor M. 29400 (Cott. Galba) A maister of lare may bete a clerk bot noght ouer sare. c1460 Towneley Myst. ix. 40 My counsellars so wyse of lare. 1513 Douglas Æneis xii. vii. 34 [He] Had lever haue knawin the sciens and the layr, The mycht and fors of strengthy herbys fyne. 1663 Butler Hud. i. ii. 223 Learn'd he was in Med'c'nal Lore. 1762 Falconer Shipwr. iii. 150 Unskill'd in Grecian or in Roman lore. 1766 Goldsm. Hermit xiii, Skill'd in legendary lore. 1780–1808 J. Mayne Siller Gun iii. xxvi. (1836) 72 Nor is it only classic lair, Mere Greek and Latin, and nae mair. 1812 Moore Intercepted Lett. viii. 35 Thou know'st the time, thou man of lore! It takes to chalk a ball-room floor. 1827 Keble Chr. Y., 2nd Sund. Advent iv. 8 For all the light of sacred lore. 1857 Hughes Tom Brown ii. iii. (1871) 256 Arthur was initiated into the lore of bird's eggs. 1901 Expositor Nov. 375 The Rabbis were the sole depositaries of sacred lore.


b. A body of knowledge, a science. Obs.

c1290 S. Eng. Leg. I. 438/235 Arsmetrike is alore þat of figurs al is. 1500–20 Dunbar Poems lxv. 4 Off euerie study, lair, or discipline. 1551 Recorde Pathw. Knowl. Pref., The Shippes on the sea with Saile and with Ore, were firste founde, and styll made, by Geometries lore.


6. Comb.: †lore-child, a scholar, apprentice; †lore-father, a master in learning; †lore-master = lore-father. Also lorespell.

a1300 Cursor M. 27237 *Lare child wit-vten buxumnes. c1200 Ormin 16625 Þatt tu‥o Godess hallfe arrt sennd *Larfaderr her to manne. a1340 Hampole Psalter xlix. 7 Apostils and haly larefadirs. 1790 Grose Prov. Gloss. (ed. 2) Suppl., Larefather, a schoolmaster or instructor. North. c1425 Cursor M. 19679 (Trin.) His *lore maistir I shal be.