Varangian

[vuh-ran-jee-uh n]
noun
  1. any of the Northmen who, under Rurik, established a dynasty in Russia in the 9th century.
  2. a member of the bodyguard (Varangian guard) of the Byzantine emperors, especially in the 11th and 12th centuries, made up of Northmen, Anglo-Saxons, and other northern Europeans.
adjective
  1. of or relating to the Varangians.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of varangian


British Dictionary definitions for varangian

Varangian

noun
  1. one of the Scandinavian peoples who invaded and settled parts of Russia and Ukraine from the 8th to the 11th centuries, and who formed the bodyguard of the Byzantine emperor (Varangian Guard) in the late 10th and 11th centuries
adjective
  1. of or relating to the Varangians

Word Origin for Varangian

C18: from Medieval Latin Varangus, from Medieval Greek Barangos, from Old Norse Væringi, probably from vār pledge
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 varangian

Varangian

n.

"one of the Northmen who founded a dynasty in Russia," 1788, from Medieval Latin Varangus, from Byzantine Greek Barangos, a name ultimately (via Slavic) from Old Norse væringi "a Scandinavian," properly "a confederate," from var- "pledge, faith," related to Old English wær "agreement, treaty, promise," Old High German wara "faithfulness" (see very). Attested in Old Russian as variagi; surviving in Russian varyag "a pedlar," Ukrainian varjah "a big strong man."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper