Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Feudal tenure of land by a tenant in return for agricultural or other nonmilitary services or for payment of rent in money.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In the Middle Ages, a system whereby a tenant would pay a rent or do some agricultural work for the landlord.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tenure of lands and tenements by a certain or determinate service; a tenure distinct from chivalry or knight's service, in which the obligations were uncertain. The service must be certain, in order to be denominated socage, as to hold by fealty and twenty shillings rent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In law, a tenure of lands in England by the performance of certain determinate service: distinguished both from knight-service, in which the render was uncertain, and from villeinage, where the service was of the meanest kind: the only freehold tenure in England after the abolition of military tenures.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. land tenure by agricultural service or payment of rent; not burdened with military service

Etymologies

Middle English sokage, from soke, soke; see soke.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sokage, from Anglo-Norman socage from soc (“soke”) +‎ -age. More at soke, -age. (Wiktionary)

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