Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

wergild

[wur-gild, wer-]
noun
  1. (in Anglo-Saxon England and other Germanic countries)
  2. money paid to the relatives of a murder victim in compensation for loss and to prevent a blood feud.
  3. the amount of money fixed as compensation for the murder or disablement of a person, computed on the basis of rank.
Show More
Also wer·geld [wur-geld, wer-] /ˈwɜr gɛld, ˈwɛr-/, were·gild.

Origin of wergild

1175–1225; Middle English (Scots) weregylt, Old English wer(e)gild, equivalent to wer man (cognate with Gothic wair, Latin vir) + gild geld2; cognate with Middle Dutch weergelt, Old High German wergelt; see yield
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wergild

Historical Examples of 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.

  • 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.

  • Blood money, or wergild, was exacted from wrong-doers as in Saxon times in England.

  • This step is taken when the State compels the parties to enter into an agreement on the basis of the wergild.


British Dictionary definitions for wergild

wergild

weregild wergeld (ˈwɜːˌɡɛld, ˈwɛə-)

noun
  1. the price set on a man's life in successive Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law codes, to be paid as compensation by his slayer
Show More

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