from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A nation that controls another nation in international affairs but allows it domestic sovereignty.
- n. A feudal lord to whom fealty was due.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A dominant nation or state which has control over the international affairs of a subservient state which has domestic autonomy.
- n. A feudal land-owner to whom peasants were forced to pledge allegiance.
- adj. Pertaining to suzerain
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A superior lord, to whom fealty is due; a feudal lord; a lord paramount.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A feudal lord or baron; a lord paramount. Also used attributively.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a state exercising a degree of dominion over a dependent state especially in its foreign affairs
French, from Old French suserain : probably sus, up (from Latin sūrsum, sūsum, upward, from *subsvorsum, turned upward : subs-, sub-, from under; see sub- + vorsum, neuter of vorsus, variant of versus, past participle of vertere, to turn; see versus) + souverein, sovereign; see sovereign.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French suzerain, based on sus ("up, above") (< Latin sursum) with the ending of souverain (English sovereign). (Wiktionary)