Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun 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 .
  • Having the shape of a wand or rod; slender, straight, and erect: as, a virgate stem; a virgate polyp.

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

  • adjective (Bot.) Having the form of a straight rod; wand-shaped; straight and slender.
  • noun obsolete A yardland, or measure of land varying from fifteen to forty acres.

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

  • noun An early English measure of land of about 30 acres.
  • adjective Shaped like a rod; straight, long and thin.
  • adjective mycology finely striped, often with dark fibers.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin virgātus.

Examples

  • 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.

    An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England

  • 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.

    Lynton and Lynmouth A Pageant of Cliff & Moorland

  • +Cap+ brownish yellow, 1½ to 3 inches broad, convex or nearly plane, viscid or glutinous when moist, often obscurely streaked (virgate).

    Among the Mushrooms A Guide For Beginners

  • 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.

    Sir Nigel

  • 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.

    Sir Nigel

  • Some, holding only a half or a quarter virgate, are spoken of as half or quarter villains.

    An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England

  • 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.

    An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England

  • 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.

    Sir Nigel

  • 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.

    Sir Nigel

  • 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.

    A Short History of English Agriculture

Comments

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  • Old measures make palates alert

    At feasts for surveyors of dirt.

    They’ll fill up a plate

    With hides and virgate

    And caruscate cake for desert.

    October 14, 2017