[ wur-gild, wer- ]
/ ˈwɜr gɪld, ˈwɛr- /
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(in Anglo-Saxon England and other Germanic countries)
money paid to the relatives of a murder victim in compensation for loss and to prevent a blood feud.
the amount of money fixed as compensation for the murder or disablement of a person, computed on the basis of rank.
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Also wer·geld [wur-geld, wer-], /ˈwɜr gɛld, ˈwɛr-/, weregild.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use wergild in a sentence
If one fellow killed another, he was to pay the legal weregild to his kindred, and also eight pounds to the society.
Thorgeir was outlawed, but for Thormod was taken weregild, and he to be quit.
I knew that no weregild, as the Saxon calls it, would be enough to save me from the Cornishman.A Prince of Cornwall|Charles W. Whistler
So the case was settled by umpiredom, and heavy weregild came for the slayings, and Thorbiorn Earl's-champion was outlawed.
It seemed as if the old practice of the weregild (see p. 32) had been unexpectedly revived.A Student's History of England, v. 1 (of 3)|Samuel R. Gardiner.
British Dictionary definitions for wergild
weregild wergeld (ˈwɜːˌɡɛld, ˈwɛə-)
/ (ˈwɜːˌɡɪld, ˈwɛə-) /
the price set on a man's life in successive Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law codes, to be paid as compensation by his slayer
Word Origin for wergild
Old English wergeld, from wer man (related to Old Norse ver, Latin vir) + gield tribute (related to Gothic gild, Old High German gelt payment); see yield
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