viking \vi"king\ (?), n. [icel. vīkingr, fr. vīk a bay, inlet.] one belonging to the pirate crews from among the northmen, who plundered the coasts of europe in the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries. of grim vikings, and the rapture of the sea fight, and the capture, and the life of slavery. note: vikings differs in meaning from sea king, with which frequently confounded. "the sea king was a man connected with a royal race, either of the small kings of the country, or of the haarfager family, and who, by right, received the title of king as soon he took the command of men, although only of a single ship's crew, and without having any land or kingdom vikings were merely pirates, alternately peasants and pirates, deriving the name of viking from the vicks, wicks, or inlets, on the coast in which they harbored with their long ships or rowing galleys." --laing. viking n : any of the scandinavian people who raided the coasts of europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries [syn: viking]
Vikings (Norwegian and ; Swedish and ; ), from Old Norse , were Germanic Norse seafarers, speaking the Old Norse language, who raided and traded from their Scandinavian homelands across wide areas of northern and central Europe, as well as European Russia, during the late 8th to late 11th centuries. The term is also commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Viking home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age. This period of Norse military, mercantile and demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, Ireland, France, Kievan Rus' and Sicily.