wa·​pen·​take ˈwa-pən-ˌtāk How to pronounce wapentake (audio) ˈwä- How to pronounce wapentake (audio)
: a subdivision of some English shires corresponding to a hundred

Word History


Middle English, from Old English wǣpentæc, from Old Norse vāpnatak act of grasping weapons, from vāpn weapon + tak act of grasping, from taka to take; probably from the brandishing of weapons as an expression of approval when the chief of the wapentake entered upon his office — more at weapon, take entry 1

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wapentake was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near wapentake

Cite this Entry

“Wapentake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wapentake. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

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