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tanist

[ tan-ist, thaw-nist ]

noun

, History/Historical.
  1. the successor apparent to a Celtic chief, usually the oldest or worthiest of his kin, chosen by election among the tribe during the chief's lifetime.


tanist

/ ˈtænɪst /

noun

  1. history the heir apparent of a Celtic chieftain chosen by election during the chief's lifetime: usually the worthiest of his kin


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Derived Forms

  • ˈtanistry, noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of tanist1

First recorded in 1530–40, tanist is from the Irish word tánaiste second, substitute, heir by election
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Word History and Origins

Origin of tanist1

C16: from Irish Gaelic tánaiste, literally: the second person
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Example Sentences

This story must have been an after-thought, to account for what we may suppose to have been a prehistoric Tanist stone.

Ultramon′tanism, ultramontane or extreme views as to the Pope's rights; Ultramon′tanist, one who holds to ultramontanism.

The "tanist" stood next to the chief, and was his successor.

To avert strife his tanist, or successor, was elected in his lifetime.

Very often the sons refused to accept the tanist, and bloody quarrels followed.

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Tanistanistry