guilds

Cultural Dictionary

guilds definition


Organizations of artisans in the Middle Ages that sought to regulate the price and quality of products such as weaving and ironwork. Guilds survived into the eighteenth century.

Note: Guilds gave way to trade unions, a very different type of organization. The artisans in the guilds were self-employed, unlike most members of trade unions.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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