variants: or less commonly bloodwit \ ˈ⸗ˌ⸗ \

Definition of bloodwite

1 early English law
a(1) : a fine or amercement for the shedding of blood payable to the king, lord, or other superior in compensation for the breach of his peace — compare wergild
(2) : a penalty for murder
b(1) : the right to levy such a fine
(2) : exemption from payment of such a fine
2 Scots law : a broil or riot in which blood is spilled

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History and Etymology for bloodwite

Middle English, from Old English blōdwīte, from blōd blood + wīte punishment

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Cite this Entry

“Bloodwite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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