- The definition of a vassal was someone in feudal times who received protection and land from a lord in return for allegiance and performing military and other duties, or someone who is subordinate.
- An example of a vassal is a person who was given part of a lord's land and who pledged himself to that lord.
- An example of a vassal is a subordinant or servant.
vassal definition by Webster's New World
- in the Middle Ages, a person who held land under the feudal system, doing homage and pledging fealty to an overlord, and performing military or other duties in return for his protection; feudal tenant
- a subordinate, subject, servant, slave, etc.
Origin: Old French ; from Midieval Latin vassalus, manservant, extension of vassus, servant ; from Celt: for Indo-European base see valet
- of or like a vassal; dependent, servile, etc.
- being a vassal
vassal definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A person who held land from a feudal lord and received protection in return for homage and allegiance.
- A bondman; a slave.
- A subordinate or dependent.
Origin: Middle English, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *vassallus, from *vassus, of Celtic origin; see upo in Indo-European roots.
vassal - Cultural Definition
Under feudalism, a subordinate who placed himself in service to a lord in return for the lord's protection.