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a communal land allotment in England in the early Middle Ages. It was tilled by members of the so-called extended family. The most common size of the hide was 120 acres of plowable land. As a result of the fragmentation of peasant agriculture and the impoverishment of the ceorls during the development of feudalism, by the tenth century the virgate (one-fourth of a hide) became the land allotment for many peasants. Eventually, the hide became a unit of land measurement.