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wapentake

[wop-uh n-teyk, wap-] /ˈwɒp ənˌteɪk, ˈwæp-/
noun
1.
(formerly in N England and the Midlands) a subdivision of a shire or county corresponding to a hundred.
Origin of wapentake
1000
before 1000; Middle English < Old Norse vāpnatak (compare Old English wǣpen-getæc) show of weapons at public voting, equivalent to vāpna (genitive plural of vāpn weapon) + tak taking; see take
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for wapentake
Historical Examples
  • The "Trithing" was a Danish institution, so also was the wapentake.

  • Beside one smaller estate there are in this wapentake three manors.

    Domesday Book and Beyond

    Frederic William Maitland
  • The origin of the wapentake is woepenge-toc, woepentac, from the Icelandic vapnatak.

  • We believe that even the word "wapentake" has changed its meaning.

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
  • It was the wapentake striking his wand against a sheet of iron.

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
  • You know that I could not help going when the wapentake came for me.

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
  • On a sign from the sheriff, the justice of the quorum and the wapentake advanced.

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
  • The sheriff cast a glance first at the justice of the quorum and then at the wapentake.

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
  • This fourth was the wapentake, clearly visible in the light of the torch.

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
  • The wapentake passed through it, then the men, then the second torch.

    The Man Who Laughs

    Victor Hugo
British Dictionary definitions for wapentake

wapentake

/ˈwɒpənˌteɪk; ˈwæp-/
noun
1.
(English legal history) a subdivision of certain shires or counties, esp in the Midlands and North of England, corresponding to the hundred in other shires
Word Origin
Old English wǣpen(ge)tæc, from Old Norse vāpnatak, from vápnweapon + taktake
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 wapentake
n.

division of certain English counties (equivalent to a hundred in other places), Old English wæpengetæc, from Old Norse vapnatak, from vapna, genitive plural of vapn "weapon" (see weapon) + tak "touching," from taka "to take, grasp." Perhaps it originally was an armed muster with inspection of weapons, or else an assembly where consent was expressed by brandishing swords and spears.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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