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A system under which a nominally free social class or a religious, national, or racial minority is permanently oppressed and degraded.
nAlso called (for senses 1, 2): helotage
1. (Historical Terms) the condition or quality of being a Helot
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a sociopolitical system in which a class, minority, nation, etc, is held in a state of subjection
3. (Zoology) zoology another name for dulosis
hel•ot•ism(ˈhɛl əˌtɪz əm, ˈhi lə-)
1. the state or quality of being a helot; serfdom or slavery.
2. a symbiotic relationship in which one group of organisms is subordinate.
the condition or quality of being a helot; serfdom or slavery. Also helotage, helotry.See also: Slavery