Definition of Anglo-Saxon in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting the Germanic inhabitants of England from their arrival in the 5th century up to the Norman Conquest.

    • ‘When the rival Norman and Anglo-Saxon boroughs amalgamated into a single administration, we cannot say.’
    • ‘In England, it developed during the Middle Ages from the Anglo-Saxon fyrd.’
    • ‘It was quite common in Anglo-Saxon England for one church to act as a minster for a town community, handling all funerals and gathering all the dead into its graveyard.’
    • ‘Central authority in England was established by Anglo-Saxon monarchs in the tenth century and consolidated by the Normans after 1066.’
    • ‘In Anglo-Saxon times Wessex was a large kingdom of the West Saxons covering the present counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Berkshire.’
    • ‘Neither in the twelfth century nor in Anglo-Saxon times did society consist only of barons and peasants.’
    • ‘Yeavering is perhaps not the best-known Anglo-Saxon site in England - that title surely goes to Sutton Hoo.’
    • ‘In theory all freemen of Anglo-Saxon England were under an obligation to serve in the fyrd when called upon.’
    • ‘The Anglo-Saxon community in England was basically a rural one, where primarily all classes of society lived on the land.’
    • ‘The Welsh continued to fight Norman and Anglo-Saxon control in the first part of the twelfth century.’
    • ‘The last Anglo-Saxon king of England lay dead on a battlefield near Hastings, an arrow through his eye.’
    • ‘He was in northern Italy when he met the Anglo-Saxon scholar, Alcuin.’
    • ‘As with the Germani, so throughout Anglo-Saxon history, the strongest social bonds were the claims of kinship and the claims of lordship.’
    • ‘The Anglo-Saxon settlement of England was no overnight affair.’
    • ‘In 10th Century Anglo-Saxon England, this dynamic had been complicated by a highly chequered history.’
    • ‘C. sativa was cultivated in England during the Anglo-Saxon age to make both rope and medicine.’
    • ‘Since it was largely responsible for the same forms of revenue and expenditure that had existed before 1066, it is hard to believe that some rather simpler sort of system of accounting had not existed in Anglo-Saxon England.’
    • ‘By 1275 there were ten surviving Anglo-Saxon nunneries in England and Wales, together with 118 founded after the conquest.’
    • ‘To judge from the surviving manuscripts, these texts found a large audience in Anglo-Saxon England during the tenth and eleventh centuries.’
    • ‘Unlike The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England, this volume covers the entire medieval period and is edited by American scholars.’
    1. 1.1 Of English descent.
      • ‘Secondly, the Anglo-Saxon background and common English language remain of profound importance to the relationship.’
      • ‘What makes Jo Jones think that 80 per cent of our fellow citizens of ‘European descent’ are Anglo-Saxon?’
      • ‘Also, a huge number of people around the world whose native language is English do not have predominantly Anglo-Saxon ancestry.’
      • ‘Alternatively, we can kick out all these immigrants, starting with those who claim Anglo-Saxon descent!’
      • ‘Look at your identity subjectively, being Australian does not mean you are Anglo-Saxon or we should place the stigma that Australians means English.’
      • ‘A new study reported by Nature suggests my English ancestry is less Anglo-Saxon, that is to say less English, than is generally suspected.’
      • ‘Over half of the camp's thirty-nine staff members are White Anglo-Saxon from upper-middle-class, suburban backgrounds.’
      • ‘After all, only so-called mainstream American authors counted, and almost all of them were of Anglo-Saxon descent.’
      • ‘These were divided between English (of Anglo-Saxon and Danish stock) and Norman-French.’
      • ‘For the most part they were men of white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant background who felt themselves to be guardians of true Americanism.’
    2. 1.2 Of, in, or relating to the Old English language.
      • ‘It's a good Anglo-Saxon word.’
      • ‘The name Frome comes from the Anglo-Saxon word 'frum', meaning rapid, vigorous.’
      • ‘A particular feature of much Anglo-Saxon verse is the use of 'kennings'.’
      • ‘The vast majority of all Anglo-Saxon name variants are included.’
      • ‘Oddly enough, I memorized the Anglo-Saxon rune alphabet in high school with a friend of mine so we could pass notes in geometry class.’
      • ‘It occurs, as saetherie, in an Anglo-Saxon medical text of about AD 1000.’
      • ‘Again, though, not an Anglo-Saxon word.’
      • ‘The word is probably also a merging with the Anglo Saxon'mæg' which means 'kinswoman' or 'woman.'’
      • ‘The Scots word 'laird' is a shortened form of 'laverd', an older Scots word deriving from an Anglo-Saxon term meaning lord.’
      • ‘The word "Lent" actually derives from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, meaning "spring."’
      • ‘The runes also show a path of progression from the Elder Futhark, to the Anglo-Saxon runes with some influence from Ogham, to English.’
      • ‘Thus, as the Normans became English-speaking they apparently found it easier to adopt Norman-French substitutes for disused Anglo-Saxon words.’
      • ‘The two-man chorus is lent an alliterative, Anglo-Saxon form reminiscent of Heaney's Beowulf.’
    3. 1.3informal (of an English word or expression) plain, in particular vulgar.
      ‘using a lot of good old Anglo-Saxon expletives’
      • ‘It was a steady stream of expressions drawing heavily on contemporary Anglo-Saxon terms, punctuated by the odd religious saying, dotted with some new words I had picked up from a documentary on LA gang wars.’
      • ‘It is also used to label vernacular English, especially when considered plain, monosyllabic, crude, and vulgar: Anglo-Saxon words.’
      • ‘Spelled out in simple Anglo-Saxon words ‘Patriotism’ reads ‘Women and children first!’’
      • ‘There have been a few raised eyebrows in recent days about the use, by the third in line to the throne, of one particular Anglo-Saxon expression.’
      • ‘French Connection cannot own every derivative or anagram of an Anglo-Saxon swear word.’
      • ‘I have words to describe these people, good old Anglo-Saxon epithets in the main, and none of them polite.’
      • ‘Superchef Gordon Ramsay has been at it again, enthralling the nation with his unique combination of assured expertise and utter command of Anglo-Saxon expletives.’
      • ‘Nowadays, of course, it has become a synonym for another Anglo-Saxon monosyllable, and packs even less of a charge than the two that describe other, more basic bodily functions.’
      understandable, comprehensible, intelligible, easy to understand, plain, direct, uncomplicated, explicit, lucid, perspicuous, coherent, logical, distinct, simple, straightforward, clearly expressed, unambiguous, clear-cut, crystal clear, accessible, user-friendly
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  • 1A Germanic inhabitant of England between the 5th century and the Norman Conquest.

    • ‘The Anglo-Saxons of Suffolk at least had some idea of what Africans looked like.’
    • ‘For Besant, ‘the Anglo-Saxon of the ninth century was in essentials very much like his descendant of the present day.’’
    • ‘After the departure of the Romans in about 420, there were many wars in England involving Scots, Picts, Britons and Saxons, Anglo-Saxons and Danes, and, in 1066, the Norman conquest.’
    • ‘In the early chapters they are generally victims of invaders such as the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans.’
    • ‘Most notable amongst these were the counties or shires which the Normans inherited from the Anglo-Saxons.’
    • ‘After 410, we were told, the Celts of Britain and Ireland - having become Christian - represented the forces of Western civilization against the incoming pagan Anglo-Saxons.’
    • ‘The Aryans were supposedly the ancestors of the Greeks, Persians, Indians, Scandinavians, Anglo-Saxons & Germans.’
    • ‘Some political and inheritance systems, therefore, such as those of the Anglo-Saxons, the Irish, and the Visigoths, apparently gave far less prominence to the role of the queen than did those of the Franks or the Greeks.’
    • ‘We're descended from Anglo-Saxons, Celts, Normans and Vikings.’
    • ‘After iron, bronze was probably the commonest metal used by the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings.’
    • ‘The English, who are a synthesis of Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Norman French, provided the seed for this distinct culture.’
    • ‘The Vikings' problem is that it was the Anglo-Saxons who wrote the histories.’
    • ‘At any rate, the movement towards the unification of Anglo-Saxon England made it more difficult for Anglo-Saxons themselves to enslave their fellow countrymen, even if they did come from another tribe.’
    • ‘Iron was a very important commodity to the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, and those people who were lucky enough to be skilled in working it were held in high regard.’
    • ‘Timber was the most important resource for the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings.’
    • ‘Although the Romano-British Church survived and the Anglo-Saxons would have had contact with indigenous Christians, the Church initially existed only on the fringes of English settlement, as paganism remained strong.’
    • ‘Occasionally, craft techniques can still be found being practiced in various parts of the world that parallel much older crafts that Vikings or Anglo-Saxons themselves practiced.’
    • ‘All sorts of people in Britain have blended together over the centuries - Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Romans, east Europeans, French, Germans, Italians, Jews, Africans and many others.’
    • ‘The inhabitants were pushed back by the Anglo-Saxons during the seventh and eighth centuries, though Cornwall held out until the 810s.’
    • ‘Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Danes, Vikings and Normans invaded Britain repeatedly between 50 BC and AD 1050.’
    1. 1.1 A person of English descent.
      • ‘Hitler made a deliberate distinction between his plans for the Russians, and his intentions towards the Anglo-Saxons.’
      • ‘To what category such terms were juxtaposed was also unclear: was it the English, the Anglo-Saxons, the British?’
      • ‘For the Anglo-Saxons, the Germans, and the Slavs do not possess, and will never possess, what the Latins, with the French at their head, have given and will continue to give to the civilized world.’
      • ‘The women of nineteenth-century Germany have been strikingly absent in almost any kind of historical work on this period whether written by Germans or Anglo-Saxons.’
    2. 1.2North American Any white, English-speaking person.
      • ‘He looked a fairly typical Anglo-Saxon - so why was he speaking to me in Old Norse?’
      • ‘There's the fiery passion of the Latins, the cold implied fetishism of the Eastern European, and the faith-based frigidity of white Anglo-Saxons.’
      • ‘What level does she calculate the immigrant population must exceed before the racist problem kicks in for her, a white woman among what she imagines to be fellow Anglo-Saxons?’
      • ‘This may have something to do with the fact that bigger is more acceptable in African-American culture than among the mighty white uptight Anglo-Saxons.’
  • 2mass noun The Old English language.

    • ‘Both words passed from Anglo-Saxon into English.’
    • ‘Modern English has two parents, Norman French and Anglo-Saxon.’
    • ‘We do not go back and study French to study the roots of the English language; we go back and study Old English and Anglo-Saxon - or, at least, we used to in the time that I was at university.’
    • ‘The dialects of Northumberland have their foundations firmly rooted in Old English Anglo-Saxon, with huge influences from Scandanavia.’
    • ‘The common tongue was by then very different from Old English or Anglo-Saxon.’
    • ‘Here was a formidable antiquarian and linguist, fluent in classical and romance languages, as well as Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Aramaic, Anglo-Saxon, and a half dozen others.’
    • ‘They speak in Anglo-Saxon, a dialect which marks their low class.’
    • ‘The origin of ‘niggard’ is harder to pin down, but the best guesses trace it to Scandinavian origins, with cognates in Anglo-Saxon.’
    • ‘Is this what I studied Celt, Anglo-Saxon and Norse at Oxford for?’
    • ‘It was called the ‘welsh’ onion: nothing to do with Wales, but from an old word, welise in Anglo-Saxon, Welsch in German, meaning ‘foreign’.’
    • ‘One of the best tax specialists I know, for example, took a degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic before acquiring his taxation knowledge.’
    • ‘In the following, italics are used for words in Swedish, while bold text indicates Old English, or Anglo-Saxon.’
    • ‘Well firstly I think I'm right in saying that at the time when he went to Oxford, the first two terms of an English course was spent reading Virgil's Aeneid in Latin, and Beowulf in Anglo-Saxon.’
    • ‘Said Narayan in a paper at the Leeds seminar in 1964: ‘We are not attempting to write Anglo-Saxon.’’
    • ‘Tolkien was a philologist specializing in the history of the English language, and Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.’
    • ‘This is precisely ten times as many as the number of Celtic loan-words in Anglo-Saxon.’
    • ‘We are cut off from these illuminated texts by our lack of Latin, Greek, Anglo-Saxon and Norman French.’
    • ‘But she was able finally to move in with her brother in London and acquired knowledge of at least eight languages, one of them Anglo-Saxon, for which she prepared and published a Grammar.’
    • ‘These were written in Anglo-Saxon, the spoken tongue, rather than Latin which was the language of the church.’
    • ‘Old English or Anglo-Saxon is the origin of lapwing, from hléapan, to leap - ‘with reference to manner of flight’, says the COD.’
    • ‘He exhibited a gift for languages, studying Latin, Greek, Italian, German, and Anglo-Saxon, while also pursuing interests in law, medicine, and music.’
    1. 2.1informal Plain English, in particular vulgar slang.
      • ‘In Gaelic, apparently, one word serves for both - but unfortunately this war of words has been conducted in English, albeit with some ripe Anglo-Saxon thrown in.’
      • ‘‘Merde,’ I declared, only in basic Anglo-Saxon.’
      • ‘Note the pedigree beasts understand very loud Anglo-Saxon.’
      • ‘At first glance that hardly seems likely, given that Romanov has to speak through an interpreter - and how do you translate Lithuanian into basic Anglo-Saxon?’
      • ‘I fear that the switch from ‘carry’ to ‘convey’ is simply the inveterate lawyer's habit of switching from Anglo-Saxon to Latinate, but otherwise, no.’


From modern Latin Anglo-Saxones (plural), medieval Latin Angli Saxones.