- (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 wergild
All of them seem to have the wergild of twelve hundred shillings.Domesday Book and Beyond
Frederic William Maitland
In the charter of Hinestrosa the wergild for homicide is 500 sueldos.A History of the Inquisition of Spain; vol. 1
Henry Charles Lea
My grief for Olaf is yet deep in my heart; still I remember his death; and now again I come to claim a wergild for him.Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race
Maud Isabel Ebbutt
Blood money, or wergild, was exacted from wrong-doers as in Saxon times in England.The Story of Switzerland
This step is taken when the State compels the parties to enter into an agreement on the basis of the wergild.Elements of Folk Psychology
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
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