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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Guerdon \Guer"don\, v. t. [OF. guerdonner, guerredonner. See Guerdon, n.] To give guerdon to; to reward; to be a recompense for. [R.]

Him we gave a costly bribe To guerdon silence.


Guerdon \Guer"don\, n. [OF. guerdon, guerredon, LL. widerdonum (influenced by L. donum gift, cf. Donation ), fr. OHG. widarl[=o]n; widar again, against (G. wider wieder) + l[=o]n reward, G. lohn, akin to AS. le['a]n Goth. laun. See Withers.] A reward; requital; recompense; -- used in both a good and a bad sense.

So young as to regard men's frown or smile As loss or guerdon of a glorious lot.

He shall, by thy revenging hand, at once receive the just guerdon of all his former villainies.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"reward, recompense" (now only poetic), late 14c., from Old French guerdon, guerredon "reward, recompense, payment," from Medieval Latin widerdonum, from Old High German widarlon "recompense;" compare Old English wiðerlean "requital, compensation," from wiðer "again" (see with) + lean "payment." Form influenced in Medieval Latin by Latin donum "gift." Compare Spanish galardon, Italian guiderone.


n. (label en now literary) A reward, prize or recompense for a service; an accolade. vb. (context transitive English) To give such a reward to.


n. a reward or payment

Usage examples of "guerdon".

To be the partner of adventure and hardship, the drudge in toil and sentinel in peril, was the boon she claimed, the best guerdon I could promise.

I can now divine, with all manner of certainty, what will be the high and merited guerdon of your immortal part.

But when the day of danger was past, and the slave applied for the fair guerdon, the Shaykh traitorously refused to keep his word.

Nor, as aforetime, did the Hylleans devise their hurt, but of their own accord furthered their passage, winning as guerdon a mighty tripod of Apollo.

There are the Hellenes, safe for the moment on their long march, and there the mountain tribesman, the serviceable barbarian, going away, alone, with his tempting guerdon, into the hazards of the darkness.

The long arm, or perhaps one might better say the long purse, of diplomacy at last effected the release of the prisoners, but the Habsburgs were never to enjoy the guerdon of their outlay.

We vow to guerdon it with such due grace As shall become our bounty, and thy place.

Wherefore, since supported by the goodness of the aforesaid prince of worthy memory, we were able to requite a man well or ill, to benefit or injure mightily great as well as small, there flowed in, instead of presents and guerdons, and instead of gifts and jewels, soiled tracts and battered codices, gladsome alike to our eye and heart.

Thou art first Squire to that most puissant knight, Lord Satan, who thy faithful squireship long Hath watched and well shall guerdon.

And this capacity for humble unaspiring worship has its peculiar guerdon.

And Venus Victrix to my heart doth bring Herself, the Helen of her guerdoning.

And in the way he with Sir Guyon met,Accompanyde with Phædria the faire,Eftsoones he gan to rage, and inly fret,Crying, Let be that Ladie debonaire,Thou recreant knight, and soone thy selfe prepaireTo battell, if thou meane her loue to gaine:Loe, loe alreadie, how the fowles in aireDoe flocke, awaiting shortly to obtaineThy carcasse for their pray, the guerdon of thy paine.

On the contrary, idealist that I was to the most pronounced degree, my philosophy had always recognized and guerdoned love as the greatest thing in the world, the aim and the summit of being, the most exquisite pitch of joy and happiness to which life could thrill, the thing of all things to be hailed and welcomed and taken into the heart.

So Jacques took the guerdons, and sent for his wife and mother to join him at Paris.