Definition of Anglo-Saxon in English:

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Pronunciation: /aŋɡləʊˈsaks(ə)n/


1Relating to or denoting the Germanic inhabitants of England from their arrival in the 5th century up to the Norman Conquest.
Example sentences
  • In 10th Century Anglo-Saxon England, this dynamic had been complicated by a highly chequered history.
  • In theory all freemen of Anglo-Saxon England were under an obligation to serve in the fyrd when called upon.
  • To judge from the surviving manuscripts, these texts found a large audience in Anglo-Saxon England during the tenth and eleventh centuries.
1.1Of English descent.
Example sentences
  • Alternatively, we can kick out all these immigrants, starting with those who claim Anglo-Saxon descent!
  • After all, only so-called mainstream American authors counted, and almost all of them were of Anglo-Saxon descent.
  • Secondly, the Anglo-Saxon background and common English language remain of profound importance to the relationship.
1.2Of, in, or relating to the Old English language.
Example sentences
  • The two-man chorus is lent an alliterative, Anglo-Saxon form reminiscent of Heaney's Beowulf.
  • The vast majority of all Anglo-Saxon name variants are included.
  • The name Frome comes from the Anglo-Saxon word 'frum', meaning rapid, vigorous.
1.3 informal (Of an English word or expression) plain, in particular vulgar: using a lot of good old Anglo-Saxon expletives
More example sentences
  • It is also used to label vernacular English, especially when considered plain, monosyllabic, crude, and vulgar: Anglo-Saxon words.
  • Spelled out in simple Anglo-Saxon words ‘Patriotism’ reads ‘Women and children first!’
  • There have been a few raised eyebrows in recent days about the use, by the third in line to the throne, of one particular Anglo-Saxon expression.


1A Germanic inhabitant of England between the 5th century and the Norman Conquest.
Example sentences
  • After the departure of the Romans in about 420, there were many wars in England involving Scots, Picts, Britons and Saxons, Anglo-Saxons and Danes, and, in 1066, the Norman conquest.
  • The English, who are a synthesis of Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Norman French, provided the seed for this distinct culture.
  • Most notable amongst these were the counties or shires which the Normans inherited from the Anglo-Saxons.
1.1A person of English descent.
Example sentences
  • To what category such terms were juxtaposed was also unclear: was it the English, the Anglo-Saxons, the British?
  • The women of nineteenth-century Germany have been strikingly absent in almost any kind of historical work on this period whether written by Germans or Anglo-Saxons.
  • For the Anglo-Saxons, the Germans, and the Slavs do not possess, and will never possess, what the Latins, with the French at their head, have given and will continue to give to the civilized world.
1.2chiefly North American Any white, English-speaking person.
Example sentences
  • There's the fiery passion of the Latins, the cold implied fetishism of the Eastern European, and the faith-based frigidity of white Anglo-Saxons.
  • This may have something to do with the fact that bigger is more acceptable in African-American culture than among the mighty white uptight Anglo-Saxons.
  • What level does she calculate the immigrant population must exceed before the racist problem kicks in for her, a white woman among what she imagines to be fellow Anglo-Saxons?
2 [mass noun] The Old English language.
Example sentences
  • We do not go back and study French to study the roots of the English language; we go back and study Old English and Anglo-Saxon - or, at least, we used to in the time that I was at university.
  • The common tongue was by then very different from Old English or Anglo-Saxon.
  • In the following, italics are used for words in Swedish, while bold text indicates Old English, or Anglo-Saxon.
2.1 informal Plain English, in particular vulgar slang.
Example sentences
  • In Gaelic, apparently, one word serves for both - but unfortunately this war of words has been conducted in English, albeit with some ripe Anglo-Saxon thrown in.
  • At first glance that hardly seems likely, given that Romanov has to speak through an interpreter - and how do you translate Lithuanian into basic Anglo-Saxon?
  • Note the pedigree beasts understand very loud Anglo-Saxon.


From modern Latin Anglo-Saxones (plural), medieval Latin Angli Saxones.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Anglo-Saxon

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