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 (so͞o′zər-ən, -zə-rān′)
1. A nation that controls another nation in international affairs but allows it domestic sovereignty.
2. A feudal lord to whom fealty was due.

[French, from Old French suserain : probably sus, up (from Latin sūrsum, sūsum, upward, from *subsvorsum, turned upward : subs-, sub-, from under; see sub- + vorsum, neuter of vorsus, variant of versus, past participle of vertere, to turn; see versus) + souverein, sovereign; see sovereign.]

su′ze·rain adj.


1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy)
a. a state or sovereign exercising some degree of dominion over a dependent state, usually controlling its foreign affairs
b. (as modifier): a suzerain power.
2. (Historical Terms)
a. a feudal overlord
b. (as modifier): suzerain lord.
[C19: from French, from sus above (from Latin sursum turned upwards, from sub- up + vertere to turn) + -erain, as in souverain sovereign]


(ˈsu zə rɪn, -ˌreɪn)

1. a sovereign or a state exercising political control over a dependent state.
2. a feudal overlord.
3. characteristic of or being a suzerain.
[1800–10; < French, =sus above (< Latin sūsum, variant of sursum, contraction of subversum, neuter of subversus upturned; see sub-, verse) + (souv)erain sovereign]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.suzerain - a state exercising a degree of dominion over a dependent state especially in its foreign affairs
body politic, country, nation, res publica, commonwealth, state, land - a politically organized body of people under a single government; "the state has elected a new president"; "African nations"; "students who had come to the nation's capitol"; "the country's largest manufacturer"; "an industrialized land"


[ˈsuːzəreɪn] N (= state) → estado m protector; (= sovereign) → monarca mf protector(a)
References in classic literature ?
Among these suzerains of chateaux and belfries, the most powerful, the richest, and the most popular, was M.
It was elected Prince only that who was "well-known for his good deeds, for his patriotism and for his respect for the suzerain power" (Xenopol, 1898: 221).
18) A monument on the border cannot possibly refer to a cultic object, but to a monument which broadcasts the sovereignty of a suzerain over territory.
The trend is linked to the emergence of the global art market in the second half of the 20th century -- art fairs, biennials and the burgeoning secondary market where auctioneers Christie's and Sotheby's are suzerain.
the appeal to the Suzerain, Emperor Basil, who sent a Byzantine fleet to
We have been brought up to believe that a woman should always have a suzerain, that she should be "owned" by a man, be he father, uncle, or husband.
As the nominal suzerain, the Song "bestowed" a large annual payment of 255,000 units to the Tanguts.
The Supreme Ruler's meta-sovereignty remains despite devolving autonomy to human rulers, like a suzerain allowing a degree of autonomy to a vassal entity.
The Serbian government might not have been formally represented at the Conference, but through its envoy Mijatovic it made clear that, on this issue at least, it wholly supported the position of the suzerain power.
The scale of his task was immense, as this was an area characterised by resistance to suzerain authority, with each emirate being fiercely protective of its own identity and individual character.
On pourrait pousser plus loin l'analogie en remarquant que le seigneur lui-meme pouvait etre dans la situation de devoir rendre hommage a plus puissant que lui, a savoir a un suzerain dont il etait le vassal, ce qui constituait en somme un systeme de reassurance.
That is to say, China will always have access to the gas and oil it wants, provided that it understands that the United States is the suzerain, or power, there.