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or scald

[skawld, skahld] /skɔld, skɑld/
one of the ancient Scandinavian poets.
Origin of skald
First recorded in 1755-65, skald is from the Old Norse word skāld poet
Related forms
skaldic, adjective
skaldship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for skald
Historical Examples
  • This Audun was the skald who sang at the drinking of King Halfdan's funeral ale.

    Viking Tales Jennie Hall
  • For Jon, who lacked much, had this gift: he had a skald's tongue.

    Eric Brighteyes H. Rider Haggard
  • Folk declare that every skald has a drop of Kvasir's blood in him.

    In The Days of Giants Abbie Farwell Brown
  • He is of the type of the skald, the bard, the seer, the prophet.

    Whitman John Burroughs
  • That he whom the skald characterises by this epithet is a god is a matter of course.

    Teutonic Mythology, Vol. 1 of 3 Viktor Rydberg, Ph.D.
  • He is a reversion to an earlier type, the type of the bard, the skald, the poet-seer.

    The Last Harvest John Burroughs
  • If this were Vinland, it was greater than saga told or skald sang.

  • The skald Ottar Black came to him there, and begged to be received among his men.

    Heimskringla Snorri Sturlason
  • The king thought it too early to awaken the army, and asked where Thormod the skald was.

    Heimskringla Snorri Sturlason
  • Sigvat the skald had gone to Rome, where he was at the time of the battle of Stiklestad.

    Heimskringla Snorri Sturlason
British Dictionary definitions for skald


(in ancient Scandinavia) a bard or minstrel
Derived Forms
skaldic, scaldic, adjective
Word Origin
from Old Norse, of unknown origin
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 skald

"Scandinavian poet and singer of medieval times," 1763, from Old Norse skald "skald, poet" (9c.), of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE root *sekw- (3) "to say, utter." The modern word is an antiquarian revival. "Usually applied to Norwegian and Icelandic poets of the Viking period and down to c 1250, but often without any clear idea as to their function and the character of their work" [OED]. Related: Scaldic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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