weregild

wergild

[wur-gild, wer-]
noun
1.
(in Anglo-Saxon England and other Germanic countries)
2.
money paid to the relatives of a murder victim in compensation for loss and to prevent a blood feud.
3.
the amount of money fixed as compensation for the murder or disablement of a person, computed on the basis of rank.
Also, wergeld [wur-geld, wer-] , weregild.


Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English (Scots) weregylt, Old English wer(e)gild, equivalent to wer man (cognate with Gothic wair, Latin vir) + gild geld2; cognate with Middle Dutch weergelt, Old High German wergelt; see yield

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World English Dictionary
wergild, weregild or wergeld (ˈwɜːˌɡɪld, ˈwɛə-, ˈwɜːˌɡɪld, ˈwɛə-, ˈwɜːˌɡɛld, ˈwɛə-)
 
n
the price set on a man's life in successive Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law codes, to be paid as compensation by his slayer
 
[Old English wergeld, from wer man (related to Old Norse ver, Latin vir) + gield tribute (related to Gothic gild, Old High German gelt payment); see yield]
 
weregild, weregild or wergeld
 
n
 
[Old English wergeld, from wer man (related to Old Norse ver, Latin vir) + gield tribute (related to Gothic gild, Old High German gelt payment); see yield]
 
wergeld, weregild or wergeld
 
n
 
[Old English wergeld, from wer man (related to Old Norse ver, Latin vir) + gield tribute (related to Gothic gild, Old High German gelt payment); see yield]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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weregild

(Old English: "man payment"), in ancient Germanic law, the amount of compensation paid by a person committing an offense to the injured party or, in case of death, to his family. In certain instances part of the wergild was paid to the king and to the lord-these having lost, respectively, a subject and a vassal. The wergild was at first informal but was later regulated by law

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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