guild

[gild]
noun
1.
an organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., especially one formed for mutual aid or protection.
2.
any of various medieval associations, as of merchants or artisans, organized to maintain standards and to protect the interests of its members, and that sometimes constituted a local governing body.
3.
Botany. a group of plants, as parasites, having a similar habit of growth and nutrition.
Also, gild.


Origin:
before 1000; Middle English gild(e) < Old Norse gildi guild, payment; replacing Old English gegyld guild; akin to German Geld money, Gothic -gild tax

gild, gilt, guild, guilt.
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World English Dictionary
guild or gild (ɡɪld)
 
n
1.  an organization, club, or fellowship
2.  (esp in medieval Europe) an association of men sharing the same interests, such as merchants or artisans: formed for mutual aid and protection and to maintain craft standards or pursue some other purpose such as communal worship
3.  ecology a group of plants, such as a group of epiphytes, that share certain habits or characteristics
 
[C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse gjald payment, gildi guild; related to Old English gield offering, Old High German gelt money]
 
gild or gild
 
n
 
[C14: of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse gjald payment, gildi guild; related to Old English gield offering, Old High German gelt money]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

guild
c.1230, yilde (spelling later infl. by O.N. gildi), a semantic fusion of O.E. gegyld "guild" and gild, gyld "payment, tribute, compensation," from P.Gmc. *gelth- "pay" (cf. O.Fris. geld "money," O.S. geld "payment, sacrifice, reward," O.H.G. gelt "payment, tribute"). The connecting sense is of a tribute
or payment to join a protective or trade society. But some see the root in its alternative sense of "sacrifice," as if in worship, and see the word as meaning a combination for religious purposes, either Christian or pagan. The Anglo-Saxon guilds had a strong religious component; they were burial societies that paid for masses for the souls of deceased members as well as paying fines in cases of justified crime. The continental custom of guilds of merchants arrived after the Conquest, with incorporated societies of merchants in each town or city holding exclusive rights of doing business there. In many cases they became the governing body of a town (cf. Guildhall, which came to be the London city hall). Trade guilds arose 14c., as craftsmen united to protect their common interest.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The guild collection includes all types of furniture and accessories.
Administration costs rising, more pork for the guild.
Membership of a caste, as of a guild or a church, provides businessmen with a useful network.
Everywhere now the medical student is welcomed as an honored member of the
  guild.
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