Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A hireling of servile status; slave.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Anglo-Saxon history, a hireling of servile condition.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English esne ("a man of the servile class, a laborer, slave, servant, retainer, a youth, young man, man, scholar"), from Proto-Germanic *asniz, *asnz (“reward”), from Proto-Indo-European *os(e)n-, *es(e)n- (“summer, harvest, harvest-time”). Cognate with Middle Low German asne, asnen ("wages, fixed income"), Old High German asni ("hireling, day labourer, servant"), Gothic  (asneis, "a hireling, day labourer"). Related to Old English earnian ("to labor for, strive after, deserve as the reward of labor, merit, earn, win"). More at earn.

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