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See also: grið and griþ


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Late Old English griþ, from Old Norse grið (domicile, home), in the plural with a meaning "truce, peace; sanctuary, asylum".

The English word is attested from the early 11th century, and after the end of the Anglo-Saxon period assumed a meaning of peace in general, especially by association with frith. The word became obsolete by the 16th century, or during the 17th century in Scottish English, but was revived in the context of historical novels in the 19th century.

The verb griþian "to make peace" appears in the Laws of Æthelred (Þæt hi Godes cirican æȝhwar ȝeorne griðian and friðian) and in Middle English is attested occasionally during the 13th century.


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grith (countable and uncountable, plural griths)

  1. (obsolete) guaranteed security, sanctuary, safe conduct
  2. (historical) security, peace or protection guaranteed in particular instances in Old English law.
  3. (historical) a place of protection, a sanctuary