Webster 1913 Edition
þegn; akin to OHG.
degana follower, warrior, boy, MHG.
degena hero, G.
degenhero, soldier, Icel.
þegna thane, a freeman; probably akin to Gr.
τίκτεινto bear, beget, or perhaps to Goth.
A dignitary under the Anglo-Saxons and Danes in England. Of these there were two orders, the king’s thanes, who attended the kings in their courts and held lands immediately of them, and the ordinary thanes, who were lords of manors and who had particular jurisdiction within their limits. After the Conquest, this title was disused, and
barontook its place.
☞ Among the ancient Scots,
thanewas a title of honor, which seems gradually to have declined in its significance.
Webster 1828 Edition