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Alternative forms[edit]


From Icelandic óðal. Cognate with Norwegian odel (allodium, patrimony), Old English ēþel (homeland). Compare athel, Odelsthing.


odal (plural odals)

  1. (law, historical) Among the early and medieval Teutonic peoples, especially Scandinavians, the heritable land held by the various odalmen constituting a family or kindred of freeborn tribesmen.
  2. The ownership of such land.

Usage notes[edit]

The odal was subject only to certain rights of the family or kindred in restricting the freedom of transfer or sale and giving certain rights of redemption in case of change of ownership by inheritance, etc., and perhaps to other rights of the kindred or the tribe. Survivals of the early odal estates and tenure exist in Orkney and Shetland, where it is usually called by the variant form udal.


odal (not comparable)

  1. Of or relating to odal land.

See also[edit]