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Learned borrowing from Old English esne, from Proto-Germanic *asnijaz (day labourer, hireling), from Proto-Germanic *asniz, *asunz (reward), from Proto-Indo-European *os(e)n-, *es(e)n- (summer, harvest, harvest-time). Related to Old English earnian (to labor for, strive after, deserve as the reward of labor, merit, earn, win). More at earn.


esne (plural esnes)

  1. (Anglo-Saxon, historical) A hireling of servile status; slave.
    • 1818, Samuel Heywood, A dissertation upon the distinctions in society:
      To an esne, therefore, I refer the entry in Doomsday-book, that at Chester, if a male or female slave shall do any []
    • 1875, William Stubbs, The constitutional history of England, in its origin and development:
      [] of British extraction captured or purchased, — or of the common German stock descended from the slaves of the first colonists: the esne or slave who works for hire; []
    • 2011, David Anthony Edgell Pelteret, Slavery in Early Mediaeval England:
      [] insist that in the event of the death of an esne his full value had to be paid.




From Proto-Basque *ezene.


esne inan

  1. milk