- unpaid labor for one day, as on the repair of roads, exacted by a feudal lord.
- an obligation imposed on inhabitants of a district to perform services, as repair of roads, bridges, etc., for little or no remuneration.
Origin of corvée
1300–50; Middle English < Middle French < Late Latin corrogāta contribution, collection, noun use of feminine of Latin corrogātus (past participle of corrogāre to collect by asking), equivalent to cor- cor- + rogā(re) to ask + -tus past participle suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for corvee
I should have been with Yankling Sahib now but for this cursed beegar (the corvee).Kim
It suggested that other slavery, which did not hide itself under the forms of conscription and corvee.
She thought he was referring obliquely to the corvee and the other thing in which her life-work was involved.
- European history a day's unpaid labour owed by a feudal vassal to his lord
- the practice or an instance of forced labour
C14: from Old French, from Late Latin corrogāta contribution, from Latin corrogāre to collect, from rogāre to ask
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for corvee
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper