from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Protection or sanctuary provided by Old English law to persons in certain circumstances, as when in a church or traveling on the king's highway.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A truce; peace; security.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete Peace; security; agreement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete guaranteed security, sanctuary, safe conduct
  • noun historical security, peace or protection guaranteed in particular instances in Old English law.
  • noun historical a place of protection, a sanctuary


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

[Middle English, from Old English, from Old Norse gridh, domicile, asylum.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Late Old English grið, from Old Norse grið "domicile, home", in the plural with a meaning "truce, peace; sanctuary, asylum". The English word is attested from the early 11th century, and after the end of the Anglo-Saxon period assumed a meaning of peace in general, especially by association with frith. The word became obsolete by the 16th century, or during the 17th century in Scottish English, but was revived in the context of historical novels in the 19th century. The verb griðian "to make peace" appears in the Laws of Æthelred (Þæt hi Godes cirican æȝhwar ȝeorne griðian and friðian) and in Middle English is attested occasionally during the 13th century.


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  • As painful as this is to watch, it goes quite a way toward explaining why each morning, I wake up to an inbox full of multi-millionaire Nigerians and pills offering an "xtra 2! n¢hes of grith" [sic].

    ExpanDrivel Cosmo Catalano 2009


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  • "Dr. X was unusually clever at taking advantage of the principle of grith, or right of refuge, which in modern usage simply meant that Coastal Republic officials like Judge Fang could not enter the Celestial Kingdom and arrest someone like Dr. X."

    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, p 126 of the Spectra trade paperback

    May 19, 2016