villein definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
any of a class of feudal serfs who by the 13th cent. had become freemen in their legal relations to all except their lord, to whom they remained subject as slaves
Origin: ME: see villain
villein definition by American Heritage Dictionary
One of a class of feudal serfs who held the legal status of freemen in their dealings with all people except their lord.
Origin: Middle English vilein; see villain.