- Early English History. a member of any of several aristocratic classes of men ranking between earls and ordinary freemen, and granted lands by the king or by lords for military service.
- Scottish History. a person, ranking with an earl's son, holding lands of the king; the chief of a clan, who became one of the king's barons.
Origin of thane
Examples from the Web for thane
In August 2001, a politician in Thane, the sprawling city northeast of Mumbai, died in the Singhania hospital there.Mumbai on Edge With Shiv Sena Founder Bal Thackeray Ill
November 16, 2012
Thane Creech, too, has his doubts that President Obama can deliver.How It Played in the Gulf
June 16, 2010
"Drink and sing, thou beast, and cease prating," the Thane said.Burlesques
William Makepeace Thackeray
And the second: “All hail, Macbeth—hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!”ZigZag Journeys in Northern Lands;
How, then, was a thane to plant new settlers on his 'gesettes-land'?The English Village Community</p>
Give us then, my dear Buller, your Theory of the Thane's character.
We must remember that the overlord might be the king, or a bishop; a monastery, or a thane.Our English Towns and Villages
H. R. Wilton Hall
- (in Anglo-Saxon England) a member of an aristocratic class, ranking below an ealdorman, whose status was hereditary and who held land from the king or from another nobleman in return for certain services
- (in medieval Scotland)
- a person of rank, often the chief of a clan, holding land from the king
- a lesser noble who was a Crown official holding authority over an area of land
Word Origin and History for thane
Old English þegn "military follower," also "servant, attendant," from Proto-Germanic *thegnas (cf. Old Saxon thegan "follower, warrior, boy," Old Norse þegn "thane, freeman," Old High German thegan, German Degen "thane, warrior, hero"), from PIE *tek-no- (cf. Sanskrit takman "descendant, child," Greek teknon "child"), from root *tek- "to beget, give birth to" (cf. Greek tekos "child, the young of animals," tokos "childbirth, offspring, produce of money, interest"). Also used in Old English for "disciple of Christ." Specific sense of "man who ranks between an earl and a freeman" is late 15c.
The modern spelling is from Scottish, where early 13c. it came to mean "chief of a clan, king's baron," and it has predominated in English probably due to the influence of "Macbeth;" normal orthographic changes from Old English ðegn would have produced Modern English *thain. Some historians now use thegn to distinguish Anglo-Saxon thanes from Scottish thanes.