vassal

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vas·sal

 (văs′əl)
n.
1. A person who held land from a feudal lord and received protection in return for homage and allegiance.
2. A bondman; a slave.
3. A subordinate or dependent.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *vassallus, from *vassus, of Celtic origin; see upo in Indo-European roots.]

vassal

(ˈvæsəl)
n
1. (Historical Terms) (in feudal society) a man who entered into a personal relationship with a lord to whom he paid homage and fealty in return for protection and often a fief. A great vassal was in vassalage to a king and a rear vassal to a great vassal
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in feudal society) a man who entered into a personal relationship with a lord to whom he paid homage and fealty in return for protection and often a fief. A great vassal was in vassalage to a king and a rear vassal to a great vassal
3.
a. a person, nation, etc, in a subordinate, suppliant, or dependent position relative to another
b. (as modifier): vassal status.
adj
4. (Historical Terms) of or relating to a vassal
5. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) of or relating to a vassal
[C14: via Old French from Medieval Latin vassallus, from vassus servant, of Celtic origin; compare Welsh gwas boy, Old Irish foss servant]
ˈvassal-less adj

vas•sal

(ˈvæs əl)

n.
1. (in the feudal system) a person granted the use of land in return for rendering homage, fealty, and usu. military service to a lord or other superior; feudal tenant.
2. a person holding some similar relation to a superior; a subject or subordinate.
3. a servant or slave.
adj.
4. of or characteristic of a vassal.
5. having the status or position of a vassal.
[1300–50; Middle English < Middle French < Medieval Latin vassallus=vass(us) servant (< Celtic; compare Welsh gwas young man, Irish foss servant) + -allus n. suffix]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.vassal - a person holding a fiefvassal - a person holding a fief; a person who owes allegiance and service to a feudal lord
follower - a person who accepts the leadership of another

vassal

noun serf, slave, bondsman, subject, retainer, thrall, varlet (archaic), bondservant, liegeman the vassal's oath of homage to his lord
Translations

vassal

[ˈvæsəl] Nvasallo m

vassal

n (lit, fig)Vasall m
adjvasallisch, Vasallen-; vassal stateVasallenstaat m
References in classic literature ?
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.
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.
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.