Were


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

WERE. The name of a fine among the Saxons imposed upon a murderer.
     2. The life of every man, not excepting that of the king himself, was estimated at a certain price, which was called the were, or vestimatio capitis. The amount varied according to the dignity of the person murdered. The price of wounds was also varied according to the nature of the wound, or the member injured.

References in classic literature ?
There were signs now that his will was ceasing to serve him.
Then she sat up as proudly as if she were in a State coach, and looked all round her.
Nay, were your friend Lady Catherine to know me, I am persuaded she would find me in every respect ill qualified for the situation.
Although, if a man were really able to instruct mankind, to receive money for giving instruction would, in my opinion, be an honour to him.
The fact is that my face must have been expressing all the maze of senseless, gross sensations which were seething within me.
As they were talking Don Antonio came in looking extremely pleased and exclaiming, "Reward me for my good news, Senor Don Quixote
At the same time, if that awful night hadn't changed everything, I should have behaved just like any other stupidly and properly brought-up young woman--waited and hoped and made an idiot of myself whenever you were around, and in the end, I suppose, been disappointed.
You were very frank with me once, Wingrave," she said.
His cheeks were white, and he leaned across the table towards Mr.
Also you could make the acquaintance of strange busy insect things running about on various unknown but evidently serious errands, sometimes carrying tiny scraps of straw or feather or food, or climbing blades of grass as if they were trees from whose tops one could look out to explore the country.
They were so young that they did not know what an advantage it is to be in society at all.
You've made me so happy by coming now, Rodya, but she has missed you by going out; when she comes in I'll tell her: 'Your brother came in while you were out.