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gelding

[gel-ding]
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noun
  1. a castrated male animal, especially a horse.
  2. a eunuch.
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Origin of gelding

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Old Norse word geldingr. See geld1, -ing3

geld1

[geld]
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gelding

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He went across to the hotel, tied the gelding at the rack, and sat down on the veranda.

  • Could they have outridden the gelding to such an extent as that?

  • In the meantime, three days had put the gelding in very fair condition.

  • With head bowed, shoulders hunched, he bent over the gelding.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson

  • She glanced at him sharply, then fell to pleating the gelding's mane.

    Garrison's Finish

    W. B. M. Ferguson


British Dictionary definitions for gelding

gelding

noun
  1. a castrated male horse
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Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse geldingr; see geld 1, -ing 1

geld1

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

geld2

noun
  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 gelding

n.

late 13c. (as a surname), from Old Norse geldingr, from gelda "castrate" (see geld (v.)).

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geld

n.

"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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geld

v.

"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