From Middle English hird, from Old English hīrēd, hīrēde, variants of earlier hīrǣden (“family, household”), from Proto-Germanic *hīwarēdaz (“relationship; family”), equivalent to hewe + -red. Cognate with German Heirat (“wedding”).
hird (plural hirds)
- (historical) In Norwegian history, an informal retinue of personal armed companions, hirdmen or housecarls.
- By extension, the formal royal court household.