follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

wergild

[wur-gild, wer-] /ˈwɜr gɪld, ˈwɛr-/
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-] /ˈwɜr gɛld, ˈwɛr-/ (Show IPA),
weregild.
Origin
1175-1225
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for were gild

wergild

/ˈwɜːˌɡɪld; ˈwɛə-/
noun
1.
the price set on a man's life in successive Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law codes, to be paid as compensation by his slayer
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for were gild

wergild

(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

Learn more about wergild with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for were

7
7
Scrabble Words With Friends