1A native or inhabitant of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex.
- In Anglo-Saxon times Wessex was a large kingdom of the West Saxons covering the present counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Berkshire.
- The Saxons settled around the Thames, the south, and the south-west: East Saxons in Essex, Middle Saxons in Middlesex, South Saxons in Sussex, and West Saxons in Wessex.
- Ecgberht had blood claims on the kingdom of the West Saxons and probably Kent; he became briefly king of the Mercians after defeating their king in battle.
2 [mass noun] The dialect of Old English used by the West Saxons.
- Each group had its own usages, but West Saxon, the dialect of Wessex, became dominant and for a time served as the literary language.
Relating to the West Saxons or their dialect.
- The adoption of this standard reflected the political and ecclesiastical power of Wessex and the early literary exploitation of the West Saxon dialect by Alfred.
- A few hundred years after the first invaders, some of their legends, told over and over again in mead halls throughout the country, would be written down as a poem in a West Saxon dialect, known to us as Beowulf.
- The king's resources were no match for Cædwalla's, and when they met in battle the West Saxon fyrd was decisively defeated.
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