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  1. definite nominative singular of dæla

Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-Germanic *dailijaną. Cognate with Old Frisian dēla, Old Saxon dēlian, Old High German teilen, Old Norse deila, Gothic 𐌳𐌰𐌹𐌻𐌾𐌰𐌽 (dailjan). The Indo-European root is also the source of Proto-Balto-Slavic *daili- (Lithuanian dailiti (divide)), Proto-Slavic *děliti (Old Church Slavonic дѣлити (děliti, divide), Russian дели́ть (delítʹ)).




  1. to share
    • late 10th century, Ælfric, "On the Greater Litany"
      Sē rīċa and sē þearfa sind weġfērende on þisse weorolde. Sē rīċa birþ māre þonne hē behōfiġe tō his formetum, sē ōðer birþ ǣmtiġne pusan. For þȳ sċeal sē rīċa dǣlan his byrðenne wiþ þone þearfan: þonne wanaþ hē þā byrðenne his synna, and þām þearfan ġehilpþ.
      The rich and the poor are both wayfarers in this world. The rich carry more than they need for the journey, while the poor hold an empty sack. That's why the rich should share their burden with the poor. That way they can lighten the burden of their sins, and help the poor.
  2. to give charitably
  3. to spend
  4. to divide or separate something

Usage notes[edit]

  • Sharing 'with' somebody is expressed with wiþ + accusative, not with mid.


Derived terms[edit]


  • Middle English: delen