Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 841 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PLIGHT, an homonymous word now used chiefly with two meanings, (I) pledge, and (2) condition or state. The first appears more generally in the verbal form, " to plight one's troth," &c., and the second with a direct or implied sense of misfortune. The derivations of the two words show they are quite distinct in origin. The O. Eng. pliht meant danger or risk, hence risk of obligation (cf. Ger. Pflicht, Du. plicht, care, duty). The root pleh- or pleg- is probably also to be seen in the much disputed word " pledge." The M. Eng. plit or plyt, on the other hand, is an adaptation of O. Fr. ploit, fold, and therefore a doublet of " plait," but appears in the 14th century with the neutral sense of condition or state in general.
End of Article: PLIGHT
ANDREW PLIMER (c. 1763-1837)

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