- (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.
Also wer·geld [wur-geld, wer-] /ˈwɜr gɛld, ˈwɛr-/, were·gild.
Origin of wergild
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for wergeld
The value of a man's oath was commensurate with his value or wergeld.
Violence to a widow or maiden is punishable by payment of one's wergeld.
If the slain man had a wergeld of 200s, let every one who was of the gang pay 30s.
The wergeld of a king or archbishop was six times that of a thegn: 7200s.
The wergeld of an earl or bishop was four times that of a thegn: 5800s.
weregild wergeld (ˈwɜːˌɡɛld, 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
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