m (-es/-as) 1. servant, one who does service for another, minister, retainer, vassal, follower, disciple; freeman, master (as opposed to slave); courtier, noble (official, as distinguished from hereditary); 2 military attendant, warrior, hero; 2. where the service is of a public or official character, an officer, minister; 2a. figurative; 3. where the service is military, soldier; 4. a follower of a great man, retainer, vassal, follower, disciple; 4a. figurative; 5. a follower of a teacher, disciple; 5a. in poetry, borrowing the terms of war; 6. one engaged in a king's or queen's service, whether in the household or in the country, thane; the word in this case seems gradually to acquire a technical meaning, and to become a term denoting a class (\þegnriht, \þegnwer), containing, however, several degrees. In some senses, it can be general, limited, implying military service, official work in the country; (1) where the word is used of other than Teutonic peoples (Xersis \þegn, Pharaones \þegn); (1a) where the Deity is the king served (Metodes \þegn); (1b) figurative; (2) where the word applies to Englishmen or to other Teutonic peoples; 6a. a thane who served a bishop; 6b. one engaged in the service of the republic; 7. a person of rank, one of a class higher than the ordinary freeman (ceorl); 8. brave man, noble man, good warrior; 8a. in poetry, the word is used, like eorl, as a complimentary term for man, warrior

Old to modern English dictionary. 2013.

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