from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A political and economic system of Europe from the 9th to about the 15th century, based on the holding of all land in fief or fee and the resulting relation of lord to vassal and characterized by homage, legal and military service of tenants, and forfeiture.
- n. A political, economic, or social order resembling this medieval system.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A social system based on personal ownership of resources and personal fealty between a suzerain (lord) and a vassal (subject). Defining characteristics are direct ownership of resources, personal loyalty, and a hierarchical social structure reinforced by religion.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The feudal system; a system by which the holding of estates in land is made dependent upon an obligation to render military service to the king or feudal superior; feudal principles and usages.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The feudal system and its incidents; the system of holding lands by military service.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the social system that developed in Europe in the 8th century; vassals were protected by lords who they had to serve in war
From feudal + -ism. (Wiktionary)