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See more synonyms for geld on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), geld·ed or gelt, geld·ing.
  1. to castrate (an animal, especially a horse).
  2. to take strength, vitality, or power from; weaken or subdue.
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Origin of geld1

1250–1300; Middle English gelden < Old Norse gelda
Related formsgeld·er, nounun·geld·ed, adjective


noun English History.
  1. a payment; tax.
  2. a tax paid to the crown by landholders under the Anglo-Saxon and Norman kings.
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Origin of geld2

1600–10; < Medieval Latin geldum payment, tribute < Germanic; compare Old English geld, German Geld
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

emasculate, neuter, fix, sterilize, spay, alter, unman, eunuchize

Examples from the Web for geld

Historical Examples

  • Geld, money, has no connection with gold, but is cognate with Eng.

    The Romance of Words (4th ed.)

    Ernest Weekley

  • Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the youth of the city?

    Measure for Measure

    William Shakespeare

  • Power came to him with travail and through toil, the geld of craft and of force.

    Harold, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • The number of hides that is put before us is the number of hides for geld.

    Domesday Book and Beyond

    Frederic William Maitland

  • The scotum in this context seems to be or to include the geld.

    Domesday Book and Beyond

    Frederic William Maitland

British Dictionary definitions for geld


verb gelds, gelding, gelded or gelt (tr)
  1. to castrate (a horse or other animal)
  2. to deprive of virility or vitality; emasculate; weaken
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Derived Formsgelder, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old Norse gelda, from geldr barren


  1. a tax on land levied in late Anglo-Saxon and Norman England
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Word Origin

Old English gield service, tax; related to Old Norse gjald tribute, Old Frisian jeld, Old High German gelt retribution, income
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 geld


"royal tax in medieval England," Old English gield "payment, tribute," from Proto-Germanic *geldam "payment" (cf. Middle High German gelt "payment, contribution," German geld "money," Old Norse gjald "payment," Gothic gild "tribute, tax"), from PIE root of yield (v.).

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"to castrate," c.1300, from Old Norse gelda "castrate" from geldr "barren," from Proto-Germanic *galdu-, from PIE *ghel- "to cut." Related: Gelded. Cf. Old Norse geldr "yielding no milk, dry," Old High German galt "barren," said of a cow.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper