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  1. Also called blood feud. a bitter, continuous hostility, especially between two families, clans, etc., often lasting for many years or generations.
  2. a bitter quarrel or contention: a feud between labor and management.
verb (used without object)
  1. to engage in a feud.

Origin of feud1

1300–50; variant of fead (a misread as u), Middle English fede < Middle French fe(i)de < Old High German fēhida; cognate with Old English fǣhth enmity. See foe, -th1


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2. argument, difference.


  1. fee(def 4).

Origin of feud2

1605–15; < Medieval Latin feudum, variant of feodum. See fee
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for feud


  1. long and bitter hostility between two families, clans, or individuals; vendetta
  2. a quarrel or dispute
  1. (intr) to take part in or carry on a feud

Word Origin

C13 fede, from Old French feide, from Old High German fēhida; related to Old English fæhth hostility; see foe



  1. feudal law land held in return for service

Word Origin

C17: from Medieval Latin feodum, of Germanic origin; see fee
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 feud


c.1300, fede "enmity, hatred, hostility," northern English and Scottish; perhaps from an unrecorded Old English word or else from Old French fede, from Old High German fehida "contention, quarrel, feud," from Proto-Germanic *faihitha noun of state from adj. *faiho- (cf. Old English fæhð "enmity," fah "hostile;" German Fehde "feud;" Old Frisian feithe "enmity;" see foe). Sense of "vendetta" is early 15c. Alteration of spelling in 16c. is unexplained.


1670s, from feud (n.). Related: Feuded; feuding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper