[ath-uh-ling, ath-]

noun Early English History.

a man of royal blood; a prince.

Origin of atheling

before 1000; Middle English; Old English ætheling (cognate with Old High German ediling, adalung, Old Saxon ethiling), equivalent to æthel(u) noble family (cognate with Old High German adoul, German Adel, Old Saxon athal(i), Old Norse athal nature; akin to Tocharian atäl man) + -ing -ing3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for atheling

Historical Examples of atheling

  • She was forced to allow that her Atheling was winning upon her!

    Hopes and Fears

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • He sent for his kinsman, the Atheling, natural heir to the throne.

    Harold, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Nor was this all: in London, there had already formed a cabal in favour of the Atheling.

    Harold, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • "Whom thou thinkest a nithing, O friend," answered the Atheling.

    Wulnoth the Wanderer

    Herbert Escott-Inman

  • Edgar the Atheling, his claim to the throne supported by London, i, 31.

British Dictionary definitions for atheling



(in Anglo-Saxon England) a prince of any of the royal dynasties

Word Origin for atheling

Old English ætheling, from æthelu noble family + -ing ³; related to Old High German adaling, Old Norse öthlingr
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

Word Origin and History for atheling

"member of a noble family," Old English æðling, from æðel "noble family," related to Old English æðele "noble," from Proto-Germanic *athala-, from PIE *at-al- "race, family," from *at(i)- "over, beyond, super" + *al- "to nourish." With suffix -ing "belonging to." A common Germanic word (cf. Old Saxon ediling, Old Frisian etheling, Old High German adaling).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper