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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈsuːzəreɪn] N (= state) → estado m protector; (= sovereign) → monarca mf protector(a)
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
References in classic literature ?
Among these suzerains of chateaux and belfries, the most powerful, the richest, and the most popular, was M.
Embedded in the naming practice of the Mac clan was an understanding between their clan and the Nguyen court, that theirs was a feudal relationship between suzerain and vassal.
Great Britain sent nearly half a million soldiers into the South African war theater--more soldiers than the United States sent to Europe during the Second World War--to assert its ultimate or suzerain control over the South Africa Republic's gold mines.
political economy structural change--and criminal gang and cartel socio-environmental modification of areas under their suzerain (e.g.
The Trump administration certainly has the right to double-down on the policies of its predecessor and help install Iran as Syria's suzerain, with the Assad entourage sifting through the country's ruins for spoils and setting the stage for successive waves and varieties of extremism arising in response.
After a brief war to settle "the sultanate pass[ing] from the ruler in Iraq to the ruler in Khurasan" (ibid., 83), Muhammad Tapar's son and heir MahmQd, who ruled in the 'Iraqayn, unequivocally acknowledged Sanjar as suzerain (ibid., 88-89); Zahir al-Din Nishapuri, Saljuqnama, ed.
One can find good illustrations of the confluence of power and norms in ancient Roman diplomacy towards barbarians and the development of ius gentium, the unique practices of the Chinese suzerain system such as kowtowing, and the Ottoman practice of humiliating foreign envoys.
these goods remain the only one acceptable in payment, the suzerain of all the others, one whose value, by a temporary but real privilege [...], is socially and regularly determined in its oscillations [...] Until, by a radical reform in the industrial organisation, all produced values have been constituted and determined like currency [...] money preserves its royalty, and it is of it alone which one can say that to accumulate wealth is to accumulate power.
The Turkish noun bas became in Romanian a pseudoprefix that formed the compounds bas-boier, hos-bataus, hos-neghiob); haraci/ 'tribute' (tax that the Christian states, the vassals of the Ottoman Empire had to pay to the suzerain power annually); olac (commissioning of work consisting in providing horses for couriers and messengers.
In any event, the Korean king fled Seoul and, as a Korea's suzerain, China dispatched military forces to Korea.
(16) Furthermore, the relationship between the ruling dynasty and its neighboring countries is one of a suzerain to its vassals, as China always saw itself as the heart of an empire that morally stretches all over East Asia, if not all over the world.