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[seen-yur, seyn-; French se-nyœr] /sinˈyɜr, seɪn-; French sɛˈnyœr/
noun, plural seigneurs
[seen-yurz, seyn-; French se-nyœr] /sinˈyɜrz, seɪn-; French sɛˈnyœr/ (Show IPA).
(sometimes initial capital letter)
a lord, especially a feudal lord.
(in French Canada) a holder of a seigneury.
Origin of seigneur
1585-95; < French < Vulgar Latin *senior lord. See senior
Related forms
[seen-yur-ee-uh l, seyn-] /sinˈyɜr i əl, seɪn-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for seigneurial
Historical Examples
  • But we have much to examine ere we penetrate the seigneurial hall.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • Everything in your personality was grand, seigneurial, immense in scale.

    Musical Portraits Paul Rosenfeld
  • They lived in poor, mean cabins, far from the towns and under the protection of a seigneurial chteau or abbey.

  • Naturally its powers were greater or less according as the town was royal, seigneurial, or communal.

  • The diamonds prove worthless, but Cartier receives a title and retires to a seigneurial mansion at St. Malo.

  • But he still wished to retain his seigneurial domain of 400 arpents.

  • These irreconcilable spirits were mainly civil and military officers, seigneurial families, and émigrés of the first generation.

    Old Quebec

    Sir Gilbert Parker and Claude Glennon Bryan
  • At Montreal, the assumption of the seigneurial duties and privileges was not without difficulty.

  • seigneurial rights were being abolished, or rather surrendered, at the very time that this transaction was under consideration.

    East of Paris Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • At the entrance of the old bourg is a great gateway which originally led to the seigneurial enclosure.

British Dictionary definitions for seigneurial


/sɛˈnjɜː; French sɛɲœr/
a feudal lord, esp in France
(in French Canada, until 1854) the landlord of an estate that was subdivided among peasants who held their plots by a form of feudal tenure
Derived Forms
seigneurial, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin senior, from Latin: an elderly man; see senior
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
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Word Origin and History for seigneurial



"feudal landowner in France," 1590s, from Middle French seigneur, from Old French seignor (see seignior). Related: Seigneuress.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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