verb (used with object), geld·ed or gelt, geld·ing.
- to castrate (an animal, especially a horse).
- to take strength, vitality, or power from; weaken or subdue.
noun English History.
- a payment; tax.
- a tax paid to the crown by landholders under the Anglo-Saxon and Norman kings.
verb gelds, gelding, gelded or gelt (tr)
- to castrate (a horse or other animal)
- to deprive of virility or vitality; emasculate; weaken
- a tax on land levied in late Anglo-Saxon and Norman England
“royal tax in medieval England,” Old English gield “payment, tribute,” from Proto-Germanic *geldam “payment” (cf. Middle High German gelt “payment, contribution,” German geld “money,” Old Norse gjald “payment,” Gothic gild “tribute, tax”), from PIE root of yield (v.).
“to castrate,” c.1300, from Old Norse gelda “castrate” from geldr “barren,” from Proto-Germanic *galdu-, from PIE *ghel- “to cut.” Related: Gelded. Cf. Old Norse geldr “yielding no milk, dry,” Old High German galt “barren,” said of a cow.