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[gur-dn] /ˈgɜr dn/
a reward, recompense, or requital.
verb (used with object)
to give a guerdon to; reward.
Origin of guerdon
1325-75; Middle English < Old French, variant of werdoun < Medieval Latin widerdonum, alteration (probably by association with Latin dōnum gift) of Old High German widarlōn, equivalent to widar again, back + lōn reward; cognate with Old English witherlēan
Related forms
guerdoner, noun
guerdonless, adjective
unguerdoned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for guerdon
Historical Examples
  • He came either to bring me aid or to seek mine, with vengeance for his guerdon.

    The Shame of Motley Raphael Sabatini
  • Our guerdon is shame in this world and condign punishment in the next.

    The Life of Cesare Borgia Raphael Sabatini
  • Is it for some vow of chivalry, or for that which is the guerdon of chivalry?'

    Two Penniless Princesses Charlotte M. Yonge
  • For this guerdon men have fought; for this they have even gladly died.

  • But if there is honour for failure what shall be the guerdon of success?

  • They had every guerdon of young love, except that there were not so many years before them.

    Country Neighbors

    Alice Brown
  • Content is the guerdon of the beast, but gods are wafted upwards on the wings of pain.

    Morning Star H. Rider Haggard
  • I declined the guerdon; and he questioned me concerning my family and my position.

    Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf George W. M. Reynolds
  • Evil was the lot that the Gods had laid upon him, and bitter was his guerdon.

    The World's Desire H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang
  • The guerdon; the quittance; could it be possible after all, the end was not far?

    Under the Rose

    Frederic Stewart Isham
British Dictionary definitions for guerdon


a reward or payment
(transitive) to give a guerdon to
Derived Forms
guerdoner, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French gueredon, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German widarlōn, Old English witherlēan; final element influenced by Latin dōnum gift
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
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Word Origin and History for guerdon

"reward, recompense" (now only poetic), late 14c., from Old French guerdon, guerredon "reward, recompense, payment," from Medieval Latin widerdonum, from Old High German widarlon "recompense;" cf. Old English wiðerlean "requital, compensation," from wiðer "again" (see with) + lean "payment." Form influenced in Medieval Latin by Latin donum "gift." Cf. Spanish galardon, Italian guiderone.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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