- a member of a Germanic people in ancient times dwelling near the mouth of the Elbe, a portion of whom invaded and occupied parts of Britain in the 5th and 6th centuries.
- the Old English dialects of the regions settled by the Saxons.
- a native or inhabitant of Saxony in modern Germany.
- an English person; Britisher.
- an Anglo-Saxon.
- (not in scholarly use) the Old English language.
- a member of the royal house of Germany that ruled from 919 to 1024.
- of or relating to the early Saxons or their language.
- of or relating to Saxony in modern Germany.
- English(defs 1, 2).
Origin of Saxon
Examples from the Web for saxon
According to neighbor David Taubin, Sanderlin and her two daughters have been living at 193 Saxon Woods Road for about a year.‘Weeds’ Come to Life? Scarsdale Mom Arrested in Massive Pot Bust
Winston Ross, Eliza Shapiro
June 6, 2013
New Saxon calls itself a “social networking site for people of European descent”; others have called it Facebook for neo-Nazis.Sikh Temple Shooting Returns Attention To Military’s White Power Problem
August 13, 2012
Bar none, the poshest place to stay is Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa in Sandhurst.Gal With a Suitcase
July 10, 2010
It seemed as if so much soul had never been put into a Saxon speech.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
And Ford, they are of a south Saxon stock, and of good repute.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
The (hup)-seax has often been found in Saxon graves on the hip of the skeleton.Beowulf
What remains have we in our English villages of our Saxon forefathers, the makers of England?
There were degrees of rank among Saxon gentlemen, as among those of to-day.
- a member of a West Germanic people who in Roman times spread from Schleswig across NW Germany to the Rhine. Saxons raided and settled parts of S Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries ad. In Germany they established a duchy and other dominions, which changed and shifted through the centuries, usually retaining the name Saxony
- a native or inhabitant of Saxony
- the Low German dialect of Saxony
- any of the West Germanic dialects spoken by the ancient Saxons or their descendants
- of, relating to, or characteristic of the ancient Saxons, the Anglo-Saxons, or their descendants
- of, relating to, or characteristic of Saxony, its inhabitants, or their Low German dialect
Word Origin and History for saxon
c.1200, from Late Latin Saxonem (nominative Saxo; also source of French Saxon, Spanish Sajon, Italian Sassone), usually found in plural Saxones, from a Germanic source (cf. Old English Seaxe, Old High German Sahsun, German Sachse "Saxon"), with a possible literal sense of "swordsmen" (cf. Old English seax, Old Frisian, Old Norse sax "knife, short sword, dagger," Old High German Saxnot, name of a war-god), from Proto-Germanic *sahsam "knife," from PIE *sek- "to cut" (see section (n.)).
The word figures in the well-known story, related by Geoffrey of Monmouth, who got it from Nennius, of the treacherous slaughter by the Anglo-Saxons of their British hosts:
Accordingly they all met at the time and place appointed, and began to treat of peace; and when a fit opportunity offered for executing his villany, Hengist cried out, "Nemet oure Saxas," and the same instant seized Vortigern, and held him by his cloak. The Saxons, upon the signal given, drew their daggers, and falling upon the princes, who little suspected any such design, assassinated them to the number of four hundred and sixty barons and consuls ....
The OED editors helpfully point out that the correct Old English (with an uninflected plural) would be nimað eowre seax. For other Germanic national names that may have derived from characteristic tribal weapons, cf. Frank, Lombard. As an adjective from 1560s. Still in 20c. used by Celtic speakers to mean "an Englishman" (cf. Welsh Sais, plural Seison "an Englishman;" Seisoneg "English").
In reference to the modern German state of Saxony (German Sachsen, French Saxe) it is attested from 1630s. Saxon is the source of the -sex in Essex, Sussex, etc. (cf. Middlesex, from Old English Middel-Seaxe "Middle Saxons"). Bede distinguished the Anglo-Saxons, who conquered much of southern Britain, from the Ealdesaxe "Old Saxons," who stayed in Germany.