serf

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Related to Serfs: feudal system

serf

 (sûrf)
n.
1. A member of the lowest feudal class, legally bound to a landed estate and required to perform labor for the lord of that estate in exchange for a personal allotment of land.
2. An agricultural laborer under various similar systems, especially in Russia and eastern Europe in the 1700s and 1800s.
3. A person in bondage or servitude.

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

serf′dom n.

serf

(sɜːf)
n
(Historical Terms) (esp in medieval Europe) an unfree person, esp one bound to the land. If his lord sold the land, the serf was passed on to the new landlord
[C15: from Old French, from Latin servus a slave; see serve]
ˈserfdom, ˈserfhood n
ˈserfˌlike adj

serf

(sɜrf)

n.
1. a person in a condition of feudal servitude, required to render services to a lord, commonly attached to the lord's land and transferred with it from one owner to another.
2. a slave.
[1475–85; < Middle French < Latin servus slave]
serf′dom, serf′hood, serf′age, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.serf - (Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lordserf - (Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord
Europe - the 2nd smallest continent (actually a vast peninsula of Eurasia); the British use `Europe' to refer to all of the continent except the British Isles
cottier, cotter - a medieval English villein
thrall - someone held in bondage
Dark Ages, Middle Ages - the period of history between classical antiquity and the Italian Renaissance

serf

noun vassal, servant, slave, thrall, bondsman, varlet (archaic), helot, villein, liegeman He was the son of an emancipated serf.
Translations

serf

[sɜːf] Nsiervo/a m/f (de la gleba)

serf

[ˈsɜːrf] nserf (serve)m/f

serf

nLeibeigene(r) mf

serf

[sɜːf] nservo/a della gleba
References in classic literature ?
What are the sinews and souls of Russian serfs and Republican slaves but Fast-Fish, whereof possession is the whole of the law?
The Hungarian nobles set free millions of serfs, at an immense pecuniary loss; and, perhaps, among us may be found generous spirits, who do not estimate honor and justice by dollars and cents.
Nay, I can tell you more,'' said Wamba, in the same tone; ``there is old Alderman Ox continues to hold his Saxon epithet, while he is under the charge of serfs and bondsmen such as thou, but becomes Beef, a fiery French gallant, when he arrives before the worshipful jaws that are destined to consume him.
From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns.
The occasional emergence of an Equilateral from the ranks of his serf-born ancestors is welcomed, not only by the poor serfs themselves, as a gleam of light and hope shed upon the monotonous squalor of their existence, but also by the Aristocracy at large; for all the higher classes are well aware that these rare phenomena, while they do little or nothing to vulgarize their own privileges, serve as a most useful barrier against revolution from below.
I dismissed my three serfs with a wave of the hand, and went up the beach into the thickets.
During his last year at school he came in for an estate of two hundred serfs, and as almost all of us were poor he took up a swaggering tone among us.
The resources of the domineering chiefs are wrung from the starving serfs, and every additional bauble with which they bedeck themselves is purchased by the sufferings of their bondsmen; so that the measure of gew-gaw refinement attained by the chiefs is only an index to the actual state in which the greater portion of the population lie grovelling.
Besides those immediate serfs and dependents just mentioned, the old Russian potentate exerted a considerable sway over a numerous and irregular class of maritime traders, who looked to him for aid and munitions, and through whom he may be said to have, in some degree, extended his power along the whole northwest coast.
In the good old days, this man, whom we will call P--, owned four thousand souls as serfs (souls as serfs
And shouting horsemen are galloping from group to group, and little banners are fluttering lazily in the warm breeze, and every now and then there is a deeper stir as the ranks make way on either side, and some great Baron on his war-horse, with his guard of squires around him, passes along to take his station at the head of his serfs and vassals.
Excuse me," Sergey Ivanovitch interposed with a smile, "self-interest did not induce us to work for the emancipation of the serfs, but we did work for it.