Guild (?), n. [OE. gilds, AS. gild, gield, geld, tribute, a society or company where payment was made for its charge and support, fr. AS. gildan, gieldan, to pay. See Yield, v. t.]
An association of men belonging to the same class, or engaged in kindred pursuits, formed for mutual aid and protection; a business fraternity or corporation; as, the Stationers' Guild; the Ironmongers' Guild. They were originally licensed by the government, and endowed with special privileges and authority.
A religious association or society, organized for charitable purposes or for assistance in parish work.
© Webster 1913.