[ tan-ist, thaw-nist ]
/ ˈtæn ɪst, ˈθɔ nɪst /

noun History/Historical.

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.

Origin of tanist

First recorded in 1530–40, tanist is from the Irish word tánaiste second, substitute, heir by election
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British Dictionary definitions for tanist

/ (ˈtænɪst) /


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

Derived forms of tanist

tanistry, noun

Word Origin for tanist

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