Derf (adj.) - brave, powerful, difficult, hard.
Miles 2: So late lede hym belyve and lenge her no lenger,
To ser Pilate oure prince oure pride will we prayse.
Miles 3: Yoa, he may synge or he slepe of sorowe and angir,
For many derfe dedes he has done in his dayes.
Miles 4: Now wightly late wende on oure wayes,
Late vs trusse vs, no tyme is to tarie.
- Anonymous: The York plays (1440)
The Middle-English Word of the Day is selected from Mayhew and Skeat's
"Concise Dictionary of Middle English."
As found on Greg Lindahl's website
The example text was found at the Middle English Collection of the University of Virginia Library.