- an organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., especially one formed for mutual aid or protection.
- any of various medieval associations, as of merchants or artisans, organized to maintain standards and to protect the interests of its members, and that sometimes constituted a local governing body.
- Botany. a group of plants, as parasites, having a similar habit of growth and nutrition.
Origin of guild
Examples from the Web for guild
Inside the guild, men in caps and long gowns sit in twos, weaving together in small rooms.The Photographer Who Gave Up Manhattan for Marrakech
January 6, 2015
Online he was a guild leader, delivering rousing speeches to fellow gamers.The U.S. Veteran and Wisconsin Boy Who Went to Fight ISIS in Syria
October 3, 2014
Bad as that deal was, it was better than the alternative: a 23 percent wage cut for all Guild employees to begin next week.Suicide at The Globe
Alex S. Jones
June 10, 2009
To what guild or brotherhood of impetuous travellers had he ascribed me?A Day's Ride
Charles James Lever
Then it is, in a measure, fair that we judge this creature's guild through him.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
Tem Rend's application had finally been accepted by the Assassin's Guild.The Status Civilization
It's a guild as old, and a deal more honorable, than the beggar's.The Coast of Chance
The aim of the Guild charities was the same as the aim of the Common Land.A Short History of England
G. K. Chesterton
- an organization, club, or fellowship
- (esp in medieval Europe) an association of men sharing the same interests, such as merchants or artisans: formed for mutual aid and protection and to maintain craft standards or pursue some other purpose such as communal worship
- ecology a group of plants, such as a group of epiphytes, that share certain habits or characteristics
Word Origin and History for guild
early 13c., yilde (spelling later influenced by Old Norse gildi "guild, brotherhood"), a semantic fusion of Old English gegyld "guild" and gild, gyld "payment, tribute, compensation," from Proto-Germanic *gelth- "pay" (cf. Old Frisian geld "money," Old Saxon geld "payment, sacrifice, reward," Old High German gelt "payment, tribute;" see yield (v.)).
The connecting sense is of a tribute or payment to join a protective or trade society. But some see the root in its alternative sense of "sacrifice," as if in worship, and see the word as meaning a combination for religious purposes, either Christian or pagan. The Anglo-Saxon guilds had a strong religious component; they were burial societies that paid for masses for the souls of deceased members as well as paying fines in cases of justified crime. The continental custom of guilds of merchants arrived after the Conquest, with incorporated societies of merchants in each town or city holding exclusive rights of doing business there. In many cases they became the governing body of a town (cf. Guildhall, which came to be the London city hall). Trade guilds arose 14c., as craftsmen united to protect their common interest.