wer·​gild ˈwər-ˌgild How to pronounce wergild (audio)
variants or wergeld
: 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

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near wergild

Cite this Entry

“Wergild.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wergild. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

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