from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. In Anglo-Saxon law, a fine or mulct of uncertain character.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Anglo-Saxon law, a fine or mulct of uncertain character; “the sum every man sentenced to the pillory would have had to pay to save him from that punishment, had it been in use.”
From Old English healsfang ("fine prescribed in substitution for capital and other punishments", literally "neck-taking", or "taking by the neck"), equivalent to halse + fang. Cognate with Icelandic hálsfang ("embracing"). (Wiktionary)