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Definition of "thane" [thane]

  • A freeman granted land by the king in return for military service in Anglo-Saxon England. (noun)
  • A man ranking above an ordinary freeman and below a nobleman in Anglo-Saxon England. (noun)
  • A feudal lord or baron in Scotland. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "thane" in a sentence
  • "˜Master,™ he called the thane, but had never thought of him as such."
  • "While, since thegn and thane are both archaisms, I prefer the former; not only for the same reason that induces Sir Francis Palgrave to prefer it, viz., because it is the more etymologically correct; but because we take from our neighbours the Scotch, not only the word thane, but the sense in which we apply it; and that sense is not the same that we ought to attach to the various and complicated notions of nobility which the Anglo-Saxon comprehended in the title of thegn."
  • "A thane was a sort of chieftain in the Saxon state."