Meaning of letherwite in English:


Pronunciation /ˈlɛðəwʌɪt/


rare, historical Law
  • Any of various fines relating to sexual relations and marriage; especially a fine payable by a male serf to his lord for having illicit sexual relations with a female serf; (sometimes) specifically = childwite . Also as a mass noun: such fines collectively.


Middle English. Apparently ultimately a variant or alteration of lairwite, perhaps based on a misreading of y as þ in forms like leyrewite lairwite (although no forms with þ are attested), or perhaps based on a misreading of ch as th in lecherwite.