Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A state of subjection to an owner or master.
  • noun Lack of personal freedom, as to act as one chooses.
  • noun Forced labor imposed as a punishment for crime.
  • noun Law An easement.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In civil and Scots law, the subjection of a person or thing to another person or thing. The word is generally used as meaning an easement or real servitude.
  • noun The condition of a slave or servant; the state of subjection to a master; slavery; bondage.
  • noun Menial service or condition.
  • noun Compulsory service or labor, such as a criminal has to undergo as a punishment: as, penal servitude. See penal.
  • noun Service rendered in duty performed in the army or navy. Compare service, 6.
  • noun A state of spiritual, moral, or mental bondage or subjection; compulsion; subordination.
  • noun Servants collectively.
  • noun In law, the burden of an easement; the condition of a tenement which is subject to some right of enjoyment by another than the owner of the tenement, in virtue of his ownership of another tenement. (See easement.)
  • noun Synonyms Serfdom, thraldom, vassalage, peonage.
  • noun 1 and Servitude, Slavery, Bondage. These words express involuntary subjection, and are in the order of strength. Servitude is the general word, its application to voluntary service being obsolete. Slavery emphasizes the completeness and the degradation of the state. Bondage, literally the state of being bound, is used chiefly in elevated style or figurative senses: as, bondage to appetite; Egyptian bondage. Servitude is the only one of these words that applies to compulsory and unpaid service required as a legal penalty; the phrase penal servitude is very common. See serf and captivity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The state of voluntary or compulsory subjection to a master; the condition of being bound to service; the condition of a slave; slavery; bondage; hence, a state of slavish dependence.
  • noun obsolete Servants, collectively.
  • noun (Law) A right whereby one thing is subject to another thing or person for use or convenience, contrary to the common right.
  • noun See under Penal.
  • noun (Law) that which arises when the use of a thing is granted as a real right to a particular individual other than the proprietor.
  • noun (Law) that which one estate owes to another estate. When it related to lands, vineyards, gardens, or the like, it is called rural; when it related to houses and buildings, it is called urban.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The state of being a slave; slavery.

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

  • noun state of subjection to an owner or master or forced labor imposed as punishment

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin servitūdō, from Latin servus, slave.]

Examples

  • Keep building up the national debt and we will be in servitude before long.

    CNN Poll: Americans say China's an economic threat

  • “To say that the systematic condemnation of millions to bondage and generation upon generation to servitude is ‘not significant,’ or that the tearing apart of families and the selling of human beings as cattle ‘doesn't amount to diddly’ is outrageous for any public official to say, let alone a man Republicans have placed in a position of leadership.”

    DNC: Barbour 'defended the indefensible'

  • In our country, May 27th is a day for celebration, a day when the people of Guadeloupe remember the struggle led by Ignace, Delgrès, Masoto and Solitude for the liberation of Guadeloupeans, who were held in servitude by the French colonialists.

    Global Voices in English » Guadeloupe: In May 2009, keep May 1802 and May 1967 in mind

  • Erika Five is fresh out of the vat from which she was spawned and is given a crash course in servitude and classism as Victor's wife.

    Rabid Reads: "Frankenstein (Book Two): City of Night" by Dean Koontz and Ed Gorman

  • The German Garden is no longer divided and should not be allowed to be fully owned and held in servitude of the Empire, but must be set free of that ownership and servitude, with the German soil, made that of the German people and only the German people, its fruits that of the German people, free of the past division and Empire troops of occupation.

    Matthew Yglesias » Endgame

  • The abjectness of their servitude is incomprehensible to us.

    Chapter 5: The Philomaths

  • It is usually white delusion that makes us think they'd select the name of someone who kept them in servitude and destroyed their family unit.

    Archive 2010-06-01

  • The reason outlaw peonage, slavery, sweatshops, pimping, and other forms of bound servitude is because they are a logical extension of a market economy and will always exist if they are not outlawed.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Kolbe-Boyd Plan

  • It is usually white delusion that makes us think they'd select the name of someone who kept them in servitude and destroyed their family unit.

    John

  • They think that they are the elites and the enlightened ones that require servitude from the peasant-looking Hoosiers.

    ‘Baron’ is merely your *name*, Rep. Hill (D, IN-09). - Moe_Lane’s blog - RedState

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