American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An official in a medieval noble household in charge of domestic arrangements and the administration of servants; a steward or major-domo.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Formerly, an officer in the household of a prince or dignitary, who had the superintendence of domestic ceremonies and feasts; a majordomo; a steward. In some instances the seneschal was a royal officer serving as the presiding magistrate of a district or province.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. An officer in the houses of princes and dignitaries, in the Middle Ages, who had the superintendence of feasts and domestic ceremonies; a steward. Sometimes the seneschal had the dispensing of justice, and was given high military commands.
- n. the chief steward or butler of a great household
- Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But, lobsters and lollipops! it is a good thing the seneschal was a pompous fool.”
“Edward VI notwithstanding, and that the holding of wardmotes in the borough would materially interfere with the duties of an ancient officer known as a seneschal or steward of Southwark, the petition could not be complied with, except by application to the legislature, and that such a course would neither be expedient or advisable.”
“He was ushered by Benoit, the elderly body-servant, rather grandiloquently called the seneschal, into the ground-floor room known traditionally as the library.”
“Wherefore, letting call the seneschal, he was fain to know at what point things stood all and after discreetly ordained that which he judged would be well and would content the company for such time as his seignory should endure.”
“Much was the debate between the ladies and the young men; but ultimately they all took the king's counsel for useful and seemly and determined to do as he proposed; whereupon, calling the seneschal, he bespoke him of the manner which he should hold on the ensuing morning and after, having dismissed the company until supper-time, he rose to his feet.”
“Lauretta, become queen, let call the seneschal and bade him look that the tables be set in the pleasant valley somewhat earlier than of wont, so they might return to the palace at their leisure; after which she instructed him what he should do what while her sovranty lasted.”
“Fiammetta sang, which done, they conversed of the Ladies 'Vale, waxing eloquent in praise thereof: insomuch that the king called the seneschal, and bade him have some beds made ready and carried thither on the morrow, that any that were so minded might there take their siesta.”
“Whereupon the queen called the seneschal and asked him who bawled so loud, and what was the occasion of the uproar.”
“There was a knock on the door, and Elspeth joined Darkwind as Tremane's aide-now styled his "seneschal," though he still acted and probably thought of himself as a military aide-de-camp-entered diffidently.”
“They have raised concern at the power that continues to be wielded by unelected officials, including the island's judge, the "seneschal".”
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