The hard life of a serf in the Middle Ages consisted of farming his master's land in exchange for the use of part of that land.
An agricultural worker in the middle ages who was responsible for growing and harvesting wheat on land owned by a lord and who paid dues to the lord for the privilege of living on the land is an example of a serf.
- Obs. a slave
- a person in feudal servitude, bound to his or her master's land and transferred with it to a new owner
- any person who is oppressed or without freedom
Origin of serfOld French from Classical Latin servus, slave, probably of Etruscan origin, originally
- A member of the lowest feudal class, legally bound to a landed estate and required to perform labor for the lord of that estate in exchange for a personal allotment of land.
- An agricultural laborer under various similar systems, especially in Russia and eastern Europe in the 1700s and 1800s.
- A person in bondage or servitude.
Origin of serfMiddle English from Old French from Latin servus slave
From Old French serf, from Latin servus (“slave, serf, servant"), perhaps of Etruscan origin