1. the body of laws in force in the northeast of England where the Danes settled in the 9th century a.d.
  2. the part of England under this law.
Also Dane·la·ge [deyn-lah-guh, dah-nuh-lah-guh] /ˈdeɪnˌlɑ gə, ˌdɑ nəˈlɑ gə/, Dane·lagh [deyn-law] /ˈdeɪnˌlɔ/.

Origin of Danelaw

before 1050; Middle English Dane-lawe, earlier Dene-lawe, Old English Dena lagu. See Dane, law1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for danelaw

Historical Examples of danelaw

  • The office was not new in England; for more than a century it had flourished in the Danelaw.

    Canute the Great

    Laurence Marcellus Larson

  • After the treaty of Wedmore the district became part of the Danelaw.

  • Barty felt that he had seen a great deal in the world since he left the farm in the Danelaw.

  • Little by little the Danelaw was yielding to the common law of England, but that did not worry an Appleby.

  • Two generations later they had destroyed three of the four English kingdoms and were organising the Danelaw on their ruins.

    Canute the Great

    Laurence Marcellus Larson

British Dictionary definitions for danelaw



  1. the northern, central and eastern parts of Anglo-Saxon England in which Danish law and custom were observed

Word Origin for Danelaw

Old English Dena lagu Danes' law; term revived in the 19th century
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