Vassal definition

văsəl
Frequency:
A person who held land from a feudal lord and received protection in return for homage and allegiance.
noun
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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.
noun
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A subordinate or dependent.
noun
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Of or like a vassal; dependent, servile, etc.
adjective
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1
Being a vassal.
adjective
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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.

noun
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A bondman; a slave.
noun
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(historical) The grantee of a fief, feud, or fee; one who keeps land of a superior, and who vows fidelity and homage to him, normally a lord of a manor; a feudatory; a feudal tenant.
noun
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noun
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Resembling a vassal; slavish; servile.
adjective
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To treat as a vassal or to reduce to the position of a vassal; to subject to control; to enslave.
verb
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To subordinate to someone or something.
verb
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A subordinate, subject, servant, slave, etc.
noun
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1

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
vassal
Plural:
vassals

Origin of vassal

  • Middle English from Old French from Vulgar Latin vassallus from vassus of Celtic origin upo in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English, from Old French vassal, from Medieval Latin vassallus (“manservant, domestic, retainer"), from vassus (“servant"), from Gaulish *wassos (“young man, squire"), from Proto-Celtic *wastos (“servant") (compare Old Irish foss and Welsh gwas).

    From Wiktionary