in early Germanic and Anglo-Saxon law, a price paid by a person who has killed another to the family of the person killed, to atone for the killing and avoid reprisals
also were′gild· or wer′gild·
Origin of wergeldMiddle English weregylt ; from Old English wergild ; from wer, man (see werewolf) + geld, payment: see geld
also wer·gild or were·gild
In Anglo-Saxon and Germanic law, a price set upon a person's life on the basis of rank and paid as compensation by the family of a slayer to the kindred or lord of a slain person to free the culprit of further punishment or obligation and to prevent a blood feud.
Origin of wergeldMiddle English wargeld, from Old English wergeld : wer, man; see w&imacron;-ro- in Indo-European roots + geld, payment.
- (historical, in Germanic law) blood money, the monetary value assigned to a person, set according to their rank, used to determine the compensation paid by the perpetrator of a crime to the victim in the case of injury or to the victim's kindred in the case of homicide.
- (historical, in Germanic law) Compensation thusly determined and paid; a reparative payment.