serf


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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 ?
The serf wore the customary garb of serving-men at that period, and long before, in the old hereditary halls of England
He must bring nothing outside; we will go in -- in among the dirt, and possibly other repulsive things, -- and take the food with the household, and after the fashion of the house, and all on equal terms, except the man be of the serf class; and finally, there will be no ewer and no napkin, whether he be serf or free.
That of the serf, or bondsman, was sad and sullen; his aspect was bent on the ground with an appearance of deep dejection, which might be almost construed into apathy, had not the fire which occasionally sparkled in his red eye manifested that there slumbered, under the appearance of sullen despondency, a sense of oppression, and a disposition to resistance.
Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.
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.
How many poor Poles have I seen dragged about and made lions of, merely because they were reputed noble, though the distinction in that country is pretty much the same as that which exists in one portion of this great republic, where one half the population is white, and the other black; the former making the noble, and the latter the serf.
A mad desire gripped her to assert herself, to make plain her resentment at this revolt of the serf.
She was a serf, but had received a European education.
Recruited from all ranks of society and from every civilized country of Europe the great horde of Torn numbered in its ten companies serf and noble; Britain, Saxon, Norman, Dane, German, Italian and French, Scot, Pict and Irish.
No longer ago than last night at the `Pied Merlin,'" the clerk answered, recognizing the escaped serf who had been so outspoken as to his wrongs.
Primitive communism, chattel slavery, serf slavery, and wage slavery were necessary stepping-stones in the evolution of society.
Though social and personal influence were powerful within its doors, as always in all human organizations, nevertheless the son of a serf for whom there was no other means of escape from his servitude might steal to the nearest monastery and there, gaining his freedom by a few months of concealment, might hope, if he proved his ability, to rise to the highest position, to become abbot, bishop or perhaps even Pope.