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witan

[wit-n, -ahn] /ˈwɪt n, -ɑn/
noun, Early English History.
1.
the members of the national council or witenagemot.
2.
(used with a singular verb) the witenagemot.
Origin of witan
1800-1810
1800-10; Modern English < Old English, plural of wita one who knows, councilor; akin to wit2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for witan
Historical Examples
  • Their power in the national assembly of the witan had decided the choice of kings.

    Harold, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • But it was absolutely necessary to prove them before the witan 293.

    Harold, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • But not a word is said as to any inadequate number in the witan.

    Harold, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • He, too, first took refuge in the Weald when deposed by his witan.

  • Then they too yielded, and the witan of all England took Swegen as their king.

    A History of England

    Charles Oman
  • The witan was rather jolly when there were crowds and crowds of people there; otherwise it was dull.

    Gray youth Oliver Onions
  • But for all that she had not hesitated to use her “pull” in order to get him to The witan that day.

    Gray youth Oliver Onions
  • The witan without them was bad enough; The witan with them had become insupportable.

    Gray youth Oliver Onions
  • But she had come here expressly to avoid going back to The witan.

    Gray youth Oliver Onions
  • That she had come upon them so far from The witan was evidence of this.

    Gray youth Oliver Onions
British Dictionary definitions for witan

witan

/ˈwɪtən/
noun (in Anglo-Saxon England)
1.
an assembly of higher ecclesiastics and important laymen, including king's thegns, that met to counsel the king on matters such as judicial problems
2.
the members of this assembly
Also witenagemot
Word Origin
Old English witan, plural of wita wise man; see wit², witness
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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