Definition for THANE

THANE, n. [Sax. thegn, thægn, a minister or servant; thegnian, thenian, to serve; D. and G. dienen, to serve; Sw. tiena, to serve; tienare, a servant; Dan. tiener, to serve; tiener, a servant. If g is radical, this word belongs to Class Dg; if not, to Class Dn, No. 10.]

The thanes in England were formerly persons of some dignity; of these there were two orders, the king's thanes, who attended the Saxon and Danish kings in their courts, and held lands immediately of them; and the ordinary thanes, who were lords of manors, and who had a particular jurisdiction within their limits. After the Conquest, this title was disused, and baron took its place.

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