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seneschal

[sen-uh-shuh l]
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noun
  1. an officer having full charge of domestic arrangements, ceremonies, the administration of justice, etc., in the household of a medieval prince or dignitary; steward.

Origin of seneschal

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Frankish; compare Medieval Latin seniscalcus senior servant, cognate with Old High German senescalh (sene- old, senior + scalh servant)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for seneschal

Historical Examples

  • "He shall have four silver candlesticks," said the seneschal moodily.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The castle is taken and on fire, the seneschal is slain, and there is nought left for us.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • "It is the Seneschal of Toulouse, with his following," said Johnston, shading his eyes with his hand.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • It was from the seneschal of the Palace that I first heard that tragic news.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini

  • It was the face of Mariani, the seneschal of the Castle of Cessna.

    The Shame of Motley

    Raphael Sabatini


British Dictionary definitions for seneschal

seneschal

noun
  1. a steward of the household of a medieval prince or nobleman who took charge of domestic arrangements, etc
  2. British a cathedral official

Word Origin

C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin siniscalcus, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German senescalh oldest servant, from sene- old + scalh a servant
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 seneschal

n.

late 14c., "steward, majordomo, officer in a royal household in charge of ceremonies and feasts," from Old French seneschal, title of a high administrative court officer, from Frankish Latin siniscalcus, from Proto-Germanic *sini-skalk "senior servant;" first element cognate with Latin senex "old" (see senile); second element from Proto-Germanic *skalkoz "servant" (cf. Gothic skalks, Old High German scalc, Old English scealc "servant;" see second element of marshal).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper