thane definition by Webster's New World
- in early England, a member of a class of freemen who held land of the king or a lord in return for military services
- in early Scotland, a person of rank, often a clan chief, who held land of the king
Origin: Middle English thayne ; from Old English thegen, akin to Old Norse thegn ; from Indo-European base an unverified form tek-, to engender, beget from source Sanskrit takman-, child: basic sense “freeborn man”
- thanage noun
thane definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- a. A freeman granted land by the king in return for military service in Anglo-Saxon England.b. A man ranking above an ordinary freeman and below a nobleman in Anglo-Saxon England.
- A feudal lord or baron in Scotland.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English thegn; see tek- in Indo-European roots.
- thaneˈshipˌ noun