[ 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.

Origin of wergild

1175–1225; Middle English (Scots ) weregylt,Old English wer(e)gild, equivalent to wer man (cognate with Gothic wair,Latin vir) + gildgeld2; cognate with Middle Dutch weergelt,Old High German wergelt;see yield
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for wergild

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
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