Tanist definition

tănĭst, thônĭst
The heir apparent to an ancient Celtic chief, elected during the chief's lifetime.
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In early Ireland, the elected heir of a living Celtic chief in a system limiting the choice to the chief's kin.
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The heir presumptive to a Celtic clan.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
tanist
Plural:
tanists

Origin of tanist

  • Irish Gaelic tánaiste second, tanist from Old Irish tánaise sed- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Irish tánaiste (“second-in-command").

    From Wiktionary