Danegeld

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English, from Dane, genitive plural of Dan (Dane), plus geld (geld, tribute, payment). Apparently modeled on a Scandinavian word such as Old Danish Danegjeld), from Old Norse *Danagjald, from the genitive plural of Danir (Danes) + gjald (payment, tribute).

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Noun[edit]

Danegeld (uncountable)

  1. (historical) A tax raised originally to protect against Viking raiders in the 10th and 11th centuries, and later continued as a land tax.
    • 1644, John Milton, Aeropagitica:
      And who shall then stick closest to ye, and excite others? not he who takes up armes for cote and conduct, and his four nobles of Danegelt.

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