(history) In Anglo-Saxon England, an extended family, a kind of kindred group; clan, tribe, generation, stock, race, people.
Origin of maegth
From Old English mǣġþ (“family group, clan, tribe, generation, stock, race, people”), from Proto-Germanic*mēgaz (“kin”). Cognate with Middle Dutch maech, Dutch maag, Old High German māg, Gothic (mēgs, “son-in-law”), equivalent to maeg + -th.
The most elementary of these groups is the maegth, the association of agnatic and cognatic relations.
When the old kin-bond or maegth was beginning to weaken or dissolve, and the state did not yet afford adequate protection to its citizens, individuals naturally united for mutual help.
Personal protection and revenge, oaths, marriage, wardship, succession, supervision over settlement, and good behaviour, are regulated by the law of kinship. A man's actions are considered not as exertions of his individual will, but as acts of the kindred, and all the fellows of the maegth are held responsible for them.