Definition of West Saxon in US English:

West Saxon


  • 1A native or inhabitant of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex.

    • ‘The eighth century saw the rise of Mercia who pushed back the Northumbrians and West Saxons and took control of East Anglia and Kent.’
    • ‘Although the Danes were defeated at Ashdown, the West Saxons were forced to negotiate and pay tribute after losing further battles.’
    • ‘Italy was the centre of written law, while England, and within England, the West Saxons comprised the fringe.’
    • ‘From the Old Saxons came the East Saxons and South Saxons and West Saxons.’
    • ‘In Anglo-Saxon times Wessex was a large kingdom of the West Saxons covering the present counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Berkshire.’
    • ‘The new stature of the West Saxons is evident in the short reign of Caedwalla, who annexed Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, and in that of his successor Ine.’
    • ‘If the West Saxons ever wished fully to incorporate East Anglia into the growing list of territories they governed, they needed to be able to justify the replacement of the Viking leaders whom they had originally helped into power.’
    • ‘Rather than respond to Vikings with ad hoc levies of his local noblemen which were disbanded when the crisis had passed, the West Saxons would now always have a force in the field.’
    • ‘Another book by Bede was commissioned in the early 10th century by Aethelstan, king of the West Saxons and grandson of King Alfred.’
    • ‘The Saxons settled around the Thames, the south, and the south-west: East Saxons in Essex, Middle Saxons in Middlesex, South Saxons in Sussex, and West Saxons in Wessex.’
    • ‘His own favoured title was ‘king of the West Saxons’ or ‘king of the West Saxons and the Kentishmen’.’
    • ‘David Miles recalls finding Christian jewels in a cemetery of West Saxons newly converted from pagan beliefs’
    • ‘Bishop Wini of the West Saxons called Chad to take Wilfrid's place.’
    • ‘Ecgberht had blood claims on the kingdom of the West Saxons and probably Kent; he became briefly king of the Mercians after defeating their king in battle.’
    • ‘When Centwine became king of the West Saxons in 676 AD, he drove his rival kinsman, Cædwalla, into exile.’
  • 2The dialect of Old English used by the West Saxons, the chief literary dialect of Old English.

    • ‘Each group had its own usages, but West Saxon, the dialect of Wessex, became dominant and for a time served as the literary language.’


  • Relating to the West Saxons or their dialect.

    • ‘But in Wessex - and more specifically, the new West Saxon king Alfred - the Vikings were about to meet their match.’
    • ‘The adoption of this standard reflected the political and ecclesiastical power of Wessex and the early literary exploitation of the West Saxon dialect by Alfred.’
    • ‘In the 5th and 6th centuries they all had distinctive regional or tribal dress - here, it was West Saxon.’
    • ‘A few hundred years after the first invaders, some of their legends, told over and over again in mead halls throughout the country, would be written down as a poem in a West Saxon dialect, known to us as Beowulf.’
    • ‘The king's resources were no match for Cædwalla's, and when they met in battle the West Saxon fyrd was decisively defeated.’
    • ‘After Harold's death in 1040 Hardacnut re-united the two kingdoms, but on his death in 1042 England reverted to the old West Saxon line.’
    • ‘By 1300 the king's itinerary was no longer dominated, as John's had still been, by the restless move from palace to hunting lodge in ‘central Wessex’, the old heartland of the West Saxon kings.’
    • ‘All this may seem incidental to the history of our East Anglian saint, but the ambitions of the West Saxon ruling dynasty may also have been the driving force behind the early cult of St Edmund.’
    • ‘Phil Sidebottom of the University of Sheffield has explained the phenomenon as a diplomatic response to the West Saxon conquest of the area.’
    • ‘He was the first West Saxon ruler to have a border with the Scots, the first to have a‘foreign policy ‘, negotiating marriage alliances and hosting embassies.’’
    • ‘The loose West Saxon version of Augustine's Soliloquia is also probably the work of Alfred.’
    • ‘The innovations that Alfred introduced meant that within twenty years of his death, most of the Danelaw had been reconquered by the West Saxon kings and their Mercian allies.’
    • ‘The last king of Sussex appears as one of Offa's duces; in Surrey, which had been West Saxon territory, we find Offa confirming a grant by a Mercian noble.’
    • ‘It is fair to say that there were just as many differences within, say, West Saxon law as there were between that and Mercian law.’
    • ‘In the same period, Edward the Elder led a combined West Saxon and Meridian army against the Danes and brought back both slaves and livestock.’
    • ‘In the legend ‘O St Edmund the King!’, emblazoned by West Saxon moneyers across thousands of Viking pennies, Alfred and his successors managed to gloss over the last two decades of Viking rule in East Anglia.’