Definition of letherwite in English:

letherwite

noun

Feudal Law
rare, historical
  • Any of various fines relating to sexual relations and marriage; especially a fine payable by a male serf to his lord for having illicit sexual relations with a female serf; (sometimes) specifically = childwite. Also as a mass noun: such fines collectively.

Origin

Middle English. Apparently ultimately a variant or alteration of lairwite, perhaps based on a misreading of y as þ in forms like leyrewite lairwite (although no forms with þ are attested), or perhaps based on a misreading of ch as th in lecherwite.

Pronunciation

letherwite

/ˈlɛðəwʌɪt/