or scald

[skawld, skahld]


one of the ancient Scandinavian poets.

Origin of skald

First recorded in 1755–65, skald is from the Old Norse word skāld poet
Related formsskald·ic, adjectiveskald·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skald

Historical Examples of skald

  • This Audun was the skald who sang at the drinking of King Halfdan's funeral ale.

    Viking Tales

    Jennie Hall

  • For Jon, who lacked much, had this gift: he had a skald's tongue.

    Eric Brighteyes

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Folk declare that every skald has a drop of Kvasir's blood in him.

    In The Days of Giants

    Abbie Farwell Brown

  • He is of the type of the skald, the bard, the seer, the prophet.


    John Burroughs

  • That he whom the skald characterises by this epithet is a god is a matter of course.

    Teutonic Mythology, Vol. 1 of 3

    Viktor Rydberg, Ph.D.

British Dictionary definitions for skald




(in ancient Scandinavia) a bard or minstrel
Derived Formsskaldic or scaldic, adjective

Word Origin for skald

from Old Norse, of unknown origin
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 skald

"Scandinavian poet and singer of medieval times," 1763, from Old Norse skald "skald, poet" (9c.), of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE root *sekw- (3) "to say, utter." The modern word is an antiquarian revival. "Usually applied to Norwegian and Icelandic poets of the Viking period and down to c 1250, but often without any clear idea as to their function and the character of their work" [OED]. Related: Scaldic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper