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Related to wergild: compurgation
wer·geld(wûr′gĕld′) also wer·gild or were·gild (-gĭld′)
In Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law, a price set upon a person's life on the basis of rank and paid as compensation by the family of a slayer to the kindred or lord of a slain person to free the culprit of further punishment or obligation and to prevent a blood feud.
[Middle English wargeld, from Old English wergeld : wer, man; see wī-ro- in Indo-European roots + geld, payment.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
wergild(ˈwɜːˌɡɪld; ˈwɛə-) or
1. (Law) the price set on a man's life in successive Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law codes, to be paid as compensation by his slayer
2. (Historical Terms) the price set on a man's life in successive Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law codes, to be paid as compensation by his slayer
[Old English wergeld, from wer man (related to Old Norse ver, Latin vir) + gield tribute (related to Gothic gild, Old High German gelt payment); see yield]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
or were•gild(ˈwɜr gɪld, ˈwɛr-)
(in Anglo-Saxon England and medieval Germanic countries) a compensatory fine paid to the relatives of a murdered person to free the offender from further obligations or punishment.
[1175–1225; Middle English (Scots) weregylt, Old English wer(e)gild=wer man (c. Gothic wair, Latin vir) + gild geld2; see yield]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
(in Anglo-Saxon society) a payment made to the family of a slain man by his killer or the killer’s family as compensation, atonement, and to avoid reprisals.See also: Dues and Payment
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