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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Were·gild n.  O. Eng. Law The price of a man's head; a compensation paid of a man killed, partly to the king for the loss of a subject, partly to the lord of a vassal, and partly to the next of kin. It was paid by the murderer.  [Written also weregeld, weregelt, etc.]