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n.1.(Eng. Hist.) The official title applied to that one of the Anglo-Saxon chieftains who was chosen by the other chiefs to lead them in their warfare against the British tribes.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
The other manuscripts of the Chronicle have various forms of the word Brytenwalda, which might mean 'ruler of Britain' or the geographically unspecific 'wide ruler' or 'great ruler'.
To these seven, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of Alfred's time attaches not only an eighth name but also a vernacular word, 'Bretwalda', ('Britain-ruler') or 'Brytenwalda' (almost certainly the right form: 'Bretwalda' may be a 'ghost' word, born of a scribal slip).
But if Brytenwalda belonged to the language of political 'hype', the possibilities stayed open.