wa·​pen·​take | \ ˈwa-pən-ˌtāk How to pronounce wapentake (audio) , ˈwä- How to pronounce wapentake (audio) \

Definition of wapentake

: a subdivision of some English shires corresponding to a hundred

First Known Use of wapentake

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wapentake

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wapentake

Time Traveler for wapentake

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for wapentake

Cite this Entry

“Wapentake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wapentake. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on wapentake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wapentake

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wapentake

Comments on wapentake

What made you want to look up wapentake? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!