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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 ?
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.
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.
It was one of the more solemn fictions of Chinese diplomacy that foreigners could have only one object in coming to China: To swear fealty to the emperor and pay the tribute of vassalage.
Yet if they were bullied into a return to Russian vassalage, it would be a net loss for liberty and, arguably, for America as well.
An opinionated piece by John Gong titled "Time for a second lesson for forgetful India" published in the Global Times said, "No matter what vassalage relationship India maintains with Bhutan, it baffles this author that India has the courage to transgress another country on its behalf.
Yet, while the La Guaira conspirators in their writings realize that the end of vassalage in colonial Venezuela would necessarily entail the abolition of African chattel slavery, the ambiguity of their texts, as well as the legal restrictions that they sought to place on the newly emancipated slaves, suggest that their anti-slavery ideology may have represented an effort to contain the more radical implications of their fraternal republican discourse during a period in which, as the 1793 Haitian Revolution makes clear, slave revolt posed a very real threat to the economic and political hegemony of the creole upper classes.
One reading of the available historical material suggests that a 'chiefdom' or 'kingdom' of Babulo may have existed as far back as the 1600s, and was under the direct vassalage of Vessoru.
Yet it is Brougham who introduces the "enabling fiction," as Brazilian scholar Luiza Leite Lobo has recently characterized it, of slavery in Brazil as a relation of vassalage between monarch and subject rather than master and slave.
If Ali Ahmeti and BDI want to ditch their vassalage to Gruevski and VMRO, if Ali Ahmeti and BDI decided to apply the European values and respect the Albanian interests, then they should immediately leave their government with VMRO, isolate Gruevski and leave him alone to fight his war against the Albanians, NATO, EU and USA.