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1. The condition of being a vassal.
2. The service, homage, and fealty required of a vassal.
3. A position of subordination or subjection; servitude.
4. The land held by a vassal; a fief.
5. Vassals, especially those of a particular lord, considered as a group.


1. (Historical Terms) (esp in feudal society)
a. the condition of being a vassal or the obligations to which a vassal was liable
b. the relationship between a vassal and his lord
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (esp in feudal society)
a. the condition of being a vassal or the obligations to which a vassal was liable
b. the relationship between a vassal and his lord
3. subjection, servitude, or dependence in general
4. (Historical Terms) rare vassals collectively
5. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) rare vassals collectively
Also: vassalry


(ˈvæs ə lɪdʒ)

1. the state of being a vassal.
2. homage or service required of a vassal.
[1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French]


1. the condition of land tenure of a vassal.
2. the fief or lands held.
See also: Law, Property and Ownership


 vassels collectively, 1807.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.vassalage - the state of a serf
slavery, thraldom, thrall, thralldom, bondage - the state of being under the control of another person


[ˈvæsəlɪdʒ] Nvasallaje m


n (Hist) (= condition)Vasallentum nt, → Vasallität f; (= services due)Vasallen- or Lehenspflicht f; (= land)Lehen nt; (fig)Unterworfenheit f (geh) (→ to unter +acc)
References in classic literature ?
Let us not then pursue By force impossible, by leave obtain'd Unacceptable, though in Heav'n, our state Of splendid vassalage, but rather seek Our own good from our selves, and from our own Live to our selves, though in this vast recess, Free, and to none accountable, preferring Hard liberty before the easie yoke Of servile Pomp.
The nobles, whose power had become exorbitant during the reign of Stephen, and whom the prudence of Henry the Second had scarce reduced to some degree of subjection to the crown, had now resumed their ancient license in its utmost extent; despising the feeble interference of the English Council of State, fortifying their castles, increasing the number of their dependants, reducing all around them to a state of vassalage, and striving by every means in their power, to place themselves each at the head of such forces as might enable him to make a figure in the national convulsions which appeared to be impending.
Practically all were Zodangans, and it was I to whom Zodanga owed her defeat at the hands of the green hordes and her subsequent vassalage to Helium.
Mr Dorrit was in the habit of receiving this old man as if the old man held of him in vassalage under some feudal tenure.
He had not only settled it with himself in course of time, that he was errand-goer by appointment to the house at the corner (though he received such commissions not half a dozen times in a year, and then only as some servant's deputy), but also that he was one of the house's retainers and owed vassalage to it and was bound to leal and loyal interest in it.
Here, the customary bedrock of the family institution does not favor women's freedom to instead update the social levers that keep women in a state of vassalage, neither cantankerous nor critical as her knee yield to the desires of her husband, favored by customary law, and if he is a Muslim, even the Holly Coran works to justify his power over women, hence:
Alexis MAGE also finds the characteristics of a feudal economy in virtual worlds: personal link of vassalage, or contract of adhesion, prerogative to license the use of economic facilities, granting of concessions in the virtual land, power to issue coinage in $ Linden; the author identifies as the key difference between feudal and virtual economy the goal of each system: providing livelihoods in the former, supporting growth in the latter.
Hecht gives this scene, which portrays the hedonistic delight of dressing up in gorgeous costumes, an explicitly sexual, even orgasmic interpretation by evoking women in heat, odor of musk, hot indolence, languorous vassalage, hinted violations, swooning lubricities and submissive lust.
Instead, it has been suggested that we should interpret the play's repeated references to service, mastery, and binding in the context of medieval discourses of vassalage and lordship rather than the later institution of race-based slavery.
54) As feudal relations of suzerainty and vassalage eroded during the modern era, the Crown's military prerogatives became better defined.
capital, and how confident men like Lansky were, that that vassalage would continue.