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An official in a medieval noble household in charge of domestic arrangements and the administration of servants; a steward or major-domo.

[Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin.]


1. (Historical Terms) a steward of the household of a medieval prince or nobleman who took charge of domestic arrangements, etc
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) Brit a cathedral official
[C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin siniscalcus, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German senescalh oldest servant, from sene- old + scalh a servant]


(ˈsɛn ə ʃəl)

a steward in charge of the household of a medieval prince or dignitary.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Frankish; compare Medieval Latin seniscalcus senior servant, c. Old High German senescalh (sene- old, senior + scalh servant)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.seneschal - the chief steward or butler of a great householdseneschal - the chief steward or butler of a great household
servant, retainer - a person working in the service of another (especially in the household)
References in classic literature ?
As to that, said Sir Launcelot, I will not take your yielding unto me, but so that ye yield you unto Sir Kay the seneschal, on that covenant I will save your lives and else not.
Then came twelve pages, together with the seneschal, to lead him to dinner, as his hosts were already waiting for him.
The chief then made a sign to the old pipe- bearer, who seemed to fill, likewise, the station of herald, seneschal, and public crier, for he ascended to the top of the lodge to make proclamation.
All being seated, the old seneschal prepared the pipe of ceremony or council, and having lit it, handed it to the chief.
The gods must seat themselves without seneschal in our Olympus, and as they can instal themselves by seniority divine.
the grand warden of the keys, the grand butler, the grand chamberlain, the grand seneschal are not worth the smallest valet.
You mind last year when he came down to Malwood, with his inner marshal and his outer marshal, his justiciar, his seneschal, and his four and twenty guardsmen.
We behold, with throbbing bosoms, the heroine in the grasp of a proud and ruthless baron: her virtue and her life alike in danger, drawing forth her dagger to preserve the one at the cost of the other; and just as our expectations are wrought up to the highest pitch, a whistle is heard, and we are straightway transported to the great hall of the castle; where a grey-headed seneschal sings a funny chorus with a funnier body of vassals, who are free of all sorts of places, from church vaults to palaces, and roam about in company, carolling perpetually.
repeated Wamba to himself, but, fool as he was, taking care not to make his observation audible; ``I should like to see her seneschals, her chief butlers, and other principal domestics
After this time, there was little widespread effort to recruit crusaders from Wales, though Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, future prince of Gwynedd, went with his uncle Richard of Cornwall in 1240; his grandfather's seneschal [steward], Ednyfed Fychan, had only recently set out on his own pilgrimage to the Holy Land, though it is not clear if he made it any further than London.
Friend Kate Yarwood, aged 27, a mum and care worker, lives in Seneschal Road, Cheylesmore.
Seneschal gave owner Peter Cook the perfect 70th birthday present when proving a class apart in the seller.