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1. The members of the witenagemot in Anglo-Saxon England.
2. The witenagemot.

[Old English, pl. of wita, councilor; see witenagemot.]
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.


(in Anglo-Saxon England) n
1. (Historical Terms) an assembly of higher ecclesiastics and important laymen, including king's thegns, that met to counsel the king on matters such as judicial problems
2. (Historical Terms) the members of this assembly
Also: witenagemot
[Old English witan, plural of wita wise man; see wit2, witness]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈwɪt n, -ɑn)

1. the members of the Anglo-Saxon national advisory council or witenagemot.
2. the witenagemot.
[1800–10; < Old English, pl. of wita one who knows, councilor; akin to wit2]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The origins of the Lords date to the 11th century when Saxon kings held meetings called Witans with landowners.
The Germans practiced a highly decentralized form of government, with law based on custom and administered by a local council (witan) composed of all free men, who served both as a lawmaking body and as a jury for civil and criminal cases.
Each shire was governed by a council known as the witan, composed of all freemen in the shire.