To what guild or brotherhood of impetuous travellers had he ascribed me?

Then it is, in a measure, fair that we judge this creature's guild through him.

Tem Rend's application had finally been accepted by the Assassin's Guild.

It's a guild as old, and a deal more honorable, than the beggar's.

The aim of the Guild charities was the same as the aim of the Common Land.

The scenes were painted expressly in aid of the "Guild," and admirably done.

The members have to contribute something yearly to the guild.

And in order to take the exams you have to find a sponsor who's already in the guild.

The guilds are virtually hereditary, even the fruit venders' guild.

No Chinese stands alone; behind him is the family, the clan, the guild.


early 13c., yilde (spelling later influenced by Old Norse gildi "guild, brotherhood"), a semantic fusion of Old English gegyld "guild" and gild, gyld "payment, tribute, compensation," from Proto-Germanic *gelth- "pay" (cf. Old Frisian geld "money," Old Saxon geld "payment, sacrifice, reward," Old High German gelt "payment, tribute;" see yield (v.)).

The connecting sense is of a tribute or payment to join a protective or trade society. But some see the root in its alternative sense of "sacrifice," as if in worship, and see the word as meaning a combination for religious purposes, either Christian or pagan. The Anglo-Saxon guilds had a strong religious component; they were burial societies that paid for masses for the souls of deceased members as well as paying fines in cases of justified crime. The continental custom of guilds of merchants arrived after the Conquest, with incorporated societies of merchants in each town or city holding exclusive rights of doing business there. In many cases they became the governing body of a town (cf. Guildhall, which came to be the London city hall). Trade guilds arose 14c., as craftsmen united to protect their common interest.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.