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A member of the bands of Scandinavian voyagers who travelled by land and up rivers into Russia in the 9th and 10th centuries ad, establishing the Rurik dynasty and gaining great influence in the Byzantine Empire.
- ‘They appear in the chronicles as the Varangians, famous for their fighting ability.’
- ‘In the ninth century, the Varangians were forced to retreat in the face of Slavonic defenders of Novgorod, who were well armed with iron spears and swords.’
- ‘The Imperial army marched out to meet them, led by the Varangians, eager to get into the fight.’
- ‘Much of the ensuing progress is attributed to the Varangians who visited Rus in the mid-ninth century.’
From medieval Latin Varangus (a name ultimately from Old Norse, probably based on vár pledge) + -ian.
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The definitions of ‘buddy’ and ‘bro’ in the OED have recently been revised. We explore their history and increase in popularity.