Definitions

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

  • n. The condition of being a vassal.
  • n. The service, homage, and fealty required of a vassal.
  • n. A position of subordination or subjection; servitude.
  • n. The land held by a vassal; a fief.
  • n. Vassals, especially those of a particular lord, considered as a group.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being a vassal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being a vassal, or feudatory.
  • n. Political servitude; dependence; subjection; slavery.
  • n. A territory held in vassalage.
  • n. Vassals, collectively; vassalry.
  • n. Valorous service, such as that performed by a vassal; valor; prowess; courage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being a vassal or feudatory; hence, the obligations of that state; the service required of a vassal.
  • n. Servitude; dependence; subjection; slavery.
  • n. A territory held in vassalage; a fee or fief.
  • n. Vassals or subjects collectively.
  • n. Pre├źminence, as of one having vassals; hence, valor; prowess; courage.

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

  • n. the state of a serf

Etymologies

From Old French vassalage (French vasselage), from vassal. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The whole world shall be in vassalage to me, but it shall be a vassalage of peace.

    Goliah

  • "I am glad to learn of your humility and pleased to know that I need not call your vassalage to your memory, but I fear that in the darkness you have less regard for either than you now pretend in the light of day."

    The Strong Arm

  • My preceding letters, dearest mother, have enabled you to form some idea of the Hebrew vassalage, which is one of the peculiarities of Egypt.

    The pillar of fire, or, Israel in bondage

  • The absorption of the Danelaw by Wessex left the Celtic fringe in Scotland and Wales independent under a vague kind of vassalage to the king.

    616-80

  • The occasion of this cession was probably some league of mutual defence against the Franks, which Cassiodorus could without dishonesty represent as a kind of vassalage of Burgundy to Ostrogothia.

    The Letters of Cassiodorus Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator

  • He told the French ambassadors a month after the arrest that Barneveld had been endeavouring, during and since the Truce negotiations, to bring back the Provinces, especially Holland, if not under the dominion of, at least under some kind of vassalage to Spain.

    Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of Holland : with a view of the primary causes and movements of the Thirty Years' War, 1618

  • In the mean time, her sister Margaret would have been completely weary of the splendid kind of vassalage in which she lived with Mrs. Davenport, were it not that visions of unalterable love occupied all her thoughts from the deceitful protestations dealt out to her by the libertine, Sir Charles Sefton: he had but lately become acquainted with the Davenports, and highly admired the bewitching Mrs. Davenport; but the greatest cause of his admiration of her, was, that she then chanced to be the fashion, and a most delightful notoriety was attached to him who could be happy enough to be her most favourite cicisbco.

    Romance Readers and Romance Writers: a Satirical Novel

  • a certain part of his land on condition of receiving in return services and fidelity, or, as it was later called, "vassalage".

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • Except for the rule of law, common defense, and education, dependency on government gives birth to effeteness or vassalage.

    Bruce Fein: At the Edge of Self-Destruction

  • Belying the somewhat flippant title of "Fashion Under the Occupation," Dominique Veillon's book is an engrossing account of life during four years of French vassalage.

    Caroline Moorehead

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