Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
From Proto-Germanic *gīslaz, a loanword from Proto-Celtic *gēstlos (compare Old Irish gíall (“hostage”), Welsh gwystl). Cognate with Old Saxon gīsal, Middle Dutch gisel (Dutch gijzelaar), Old High German gīsal (German Geisel), Old Norse gísl.
- a hostage
- He him aðas swor and gislas salde: he swore oaths to them and gave them hostages. (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle)