varangian guard


any of the Northmen who, under Rurik, established a dynasty in Russia in the 9th century.
a member of the bodyguard (Varangian guard) of the Byzantine emperors, especially in the 11th and 12th centuries, made up of Northmen, Anglo-Saxons, and other northern Europeans.
of or pertaining to the Varangians. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Varangian (vəˈrændʒɪən)
1.  one of the Scandinavian peoples who invaded and settled parts of Russia and Ukraine from the 8th to the 11th centuries, and who formed the bodyguard of the Byzantine emperor (Varangian Guard) in the late 10th and 11th centuries
2.  of or relating to the Varangians
[C18: from Medieval Latin Varangus, from Medieval Greek Barangos, from Old Norse Væringi, probably from vār pledge]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"one of the Northmen who founded a dynasty in Russia," 1788, from M.L. Varangus, from Byzantine Gk. Barangos, a name ult. (via Slavic) from O.N. væringi "a Scandinavian," prop. "a confederate," from var- "pledge, faith," related to O.E. wær "agreement, treaty, promise," O.H.G. wara "faithfulness"
(see very). Attested in O.Rus. as variagi; surviving in Rus. varyag "a pedlar," Ukrainian varjah "a big strong man."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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