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gelding

[gel-ding]
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noun
  1. a castrated male animal, especially a horse.
  2. a eunuch.

Origin of gelding

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Old Norse word geldingr. See geld1, -ing3

geld1

[geld]
verb (used with object), geld·ed or gelt, geld·ing.
  1. to castrate (an animal, especially a horse).
  2. to take strength, vitality, or power from; weaken or subdue.

Origin of geld1

1250–1300; Middle English gelden < Old Norse gelda
Related formsgeld·er, nounun·geld·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gelding

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He went across to the hotel, tied the gelding at the rack, and sat down on the veranda.

  • Could they have outridden the gelding to such an extent as that?

  • In the meantime, three days had put the gelding in very fair condition.

  • With head bowed, shoulders hunched, he bent over the gelding.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • She glanced at him sharply, then fell to pleating the gelding's mane.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson


British Dictionary definitions for gelding

gelding

noun
  1. a castrated male horse

Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse geldingr; see geld 1, -ing 1

geld1

verb gelds, gelding, gelded or gelt (tr)
  1. to castrate (a horse or other animal)
  2. to deprive of virility or vitality; emasculate; weaken
Derived Formsgelder, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old Norse gelda, from geldr barren

geld2

noun
  1. a tax on land levied in late Anglo-Saxon and Norman England

Word Origin

Old English gield service, tax; related to Old Norse gjald tribute, Old Frisian jeld, Old High German gelt retribution, income
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

Word Origin and History for gelding

n.

late 13c. (as a surname), from Old Norse geldingr, from gelda "castrate" (see geld (v.)).

geld

n.

"royal tax in medieval England," Old English gield "payment, tribute," from Proto-Germanic *geldam "payment" (cf. Middle High German gelt "payment, contribution," German geld "money," Old Norse gjald "payment," Gothic gild "tribute, tax"), from PIE root of yield (v.).

geld

v.

"to castrate," c.1300, from Old Norse gelda "castrate" from geldr "barren," from Proto-Germanic *galdu-, from PIE *ghel- "to cut." Related: Gelded. Cf. Old Norse geldr "yielding no milk, dry," Old High German galt "barren," said of a cow.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper