wergild

noun
wer·​gild | \ ˈwər-ˌgild How to pronounce wergild (audio) \
variants: or wergeld \ ˈwer-​ˌgeld How to pronounce wergild (audio) \

Definition of wergild

: the value set in Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law upon human life in accordance with rank and paid as compensation to the kindred or lord of a slain person

First Known Use of wergild

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wergild

Middle English wergeld, from Old English, from wer man + -geld, alteration of gield, geld payment, tribute — more at geld

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The first known use of wergild was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Wergild.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wergild. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wergild

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