guer·​don | \ ˈgər-dᵊn How to pronounce guerdon (audio) \

Definition of guerdon

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Other Words from guerdon

guerdon transitive verb

Guerdon and Shakespeare

Guerdon dates back to the 14th century, when Geoffrey Chaucer used it in The Romaunt of the Rose (ca. 1366): "He quitte him wel his guerdon there." It derives from Anglo-French and is thought to be related to the Old High German widarlōn, meaning "reward." Shakespeare used guerdon a couple of times in his plays. In Love's Labour's Lost, for example, Berowne, attendant to King Ferdinand, sends the clown Costard to deliver a letter to Rosaline, attendant to the princess of France, handing him a shilling with the line, "There's thy guerdon; go." Guerdon is a rare word today, but contemporary writers do use it on occasion for poetic effect.

First Known Use of guerdon

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for guerdon

Middle English, from Anglo-French guerdun, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German widarlōn reward

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The first known use of guerdon was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Guerdon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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