from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An Anglo-Saxon nobleman or prince, especially the heir to a throne.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A prince, especially an Anglo-Saxon prince or royal heir.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An Anglo-Saxon prince or nobleman; esp., the heir apparent or a prince of the royal family.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Anglo-Saxon history: A crown prince or heir apparent; one of the royal family.


Middle English, from Old English ætheling.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English atheling, from Old English æþeling ("son of a king, man of royal blood, nobleman, chief, prince, king, Christ, God, man, hero, saint"), from Proto-Germanic *aþalingaz (“prince, nobleman”), equivalent to athel +‎ -ing. Cognate with Old Frisian etheling, edling, Old Saxon edhiling, Old High German adaling, Medieval Latin adalingus, adelingus (from Germanic). (Wiktionary)



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  • As in Edgar the Atheling; a sort of Early English nobleman.

    August 15, 2008