Definition of Danegeld in US English:



  • A land tax levied in medieval England, originally to raise funds for protection against Danish invaders.

    • ‘Just under £3,000 came from taxation, nearly all of this from the geld or Danegeld, as the old Anglo-Saxon land tax was now called.’
    • ‘This was followed by attempts to buy off the Danes by the payment of immense sums as Danegeld, a course of action suggested by Archbishop Sigeric.’
    • ‘The Danegeld was an English tribute raised to pay off Viking raiders to save the land from being ravaged by the raiders.’
    • ‘The time honoured methods of ransom, Danegeld and baptism of Viking leaders continued to be more successful.’
    • ‘The Danegeld was a tax created by English rulers to pay for the defense of their country from Viking raiders.’


Late Old English, from Old Norse Danir ‘Danes’ + gjald ‘payment’.