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From Old English folcġemōt (meeting of the people of a town or district), equivalent to folk +‎ moot.


folkmoot (plural folkmoots)

  1. (historical) A general meeting (assembly) of the people of a town, district, or shire.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.4:
      To which folke-mote they all with one consent […] Agreed to travell, and their fortunes try.
    • 1897, The Constitutional History of England in Its Origin and Development, volume 1, edition 6, page 134:
      Yet even in the seven kingdoms, even in the united kingdom, when there was a general summons to the host, some concentration of the armed folkmoots must have taken place.
    • 1919, F. J. Snell, The Customs of Old England
      If the accused did not appear on the day named for the trial, he was outlawed at the folkmoot.
    • 1963, in The Hispanic American Historical Review (edited by James Alexander Robertson), volume 8, page 463:
      Since marital, hiring, and other contracts were made in the folkmoots, it is likely that justice was administered there. Thus it may be said that the meeting -places were used for councils of war and the administration of the law.
    • 1983 Poul Anderson, Time Patrolman
      ... slay Ermanaric in one quick, clean blow, and afterward call a folkmoot to pick a new king who shall be righteous.
    • 2003, John Hamilton Baker, The Oxford History of the Laws of England: c. 900-1216, page 819:
      However, it may have been too unwieldy for a large and growing city, and its business therefore narrowed as the other courts developed.49 According to an early thirteenth-century custumal, there were three chief folkmoots a year: []
    • 2006, Insiders' Guide to North Carolina's Mountains, edition 8 (Constance E. Richards, Kenneth L. Richards), page 334:
      New Zealand Maori in grass skirts, Bavarian oompah bands, and sombrero-wearing Mexican ensembles are only a few of the multicultural treasures you might encounter at Waynesville's Folkmoot USA festival.

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia