from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Shaped like a wand or rod; straight, long, and slender.
- n. An early English measure of land area of varying value, often equal to about 30 acres (12 hectares).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An early English measure of land of about 30 acres.
- adj. Shaped like a rod; straight, long and thin.
- adj. finely striped, often with dark fibers.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Having the form of a straight rod; wand-shaped; straight and slender.
- n. A yardland, or measure of land varying from fifteen to forty acres.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In geology, noting a system of faults, the minor members of which branch from a central one as twigs from a bough.
- To branch off, like a twig, or diverge like a system of twigs.
- Having the shape of a wand or rod; slender, straight, and erect: as, a virgate stem; a virgate polyp.
- n. A measure of surface (corresponding to the ML. terra virgata, measured land). Different areas have been so called, without much uniformity. Compare quotation under holding, 3 .
The typical holding, the group of scattered acres cultivated by one man or held by some two or three in common, was known as a "virgate," or by some equivalent term, and although of no universal equality, was more frequently of thirty acres than of any other number.
The manor of Countisbury rendered geld for half a hide, of which the lord held one virgate and four ploughs, and the villeins held one virgate and six ploughs.
+Cap+ brownish yellow, 1½ to 3 inches broad, convex or nearly plane, viscid or glutinous when moist, often obscurely streaked (virgate).
On three sides the five-virgate field was bounded by a high wall, broken only at one spot by a heavy four-foot wooden gate.
We were coming back over the five-virgate field, and the holy subprior was telling us a saintly tale from the life of Saint Gregory, when there came a sudden sound like a rushing torrent, and the foul fiend sprang over the high wall which skirts the water-meadow and rushed upon us with the speed of the wind.
Some, holding only a half or a quarter virgate, are spoken of as half or quarter villains.
Usually one finds on a given manor that ten or fifteen of the villagers have each a virgate of a given number of acres, several more have each a half virgate or a quarter.
His usual holding was a virgate of 30 acres of arable, though the virgate differed in size even in the same manors; but in addition to this he would have his meadow land and his share in the common pasture and wood, altogether about 100 acres of land.
The basis of the whole scheme of measurement in Domesday was the hide, usually of 120 acres, the amount of land that could be ploughed by a team of 8 oxen in a year; a quarter of this was the virgate, an eighth the bovate, which would therefore supply one ox to the common team.
Durant, whose ancestor in 1222 held only one virgate in 'Cadendon', had in 1279 eight or ten at least.