- a sovereign or a state exercising political control over a dependent state.
- History/Historical. a feudal overlord.
- characteristic of or being a suzerain.
Origin of suzerain
Examples from the Web for suzerain
The sons of vassals were sent to the castle of the suzerain to be brought up with his sons.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
And the suzerain revenues shall all be yours; for by the bones of Othman!The Captain of the Janizaries
James M. Ludlow
Natives were, no doubt, expected to know by intuition what suzerain rights are.The Last Boer War
H. Rider Haggard
He feared for his life, he said, and would not trust himself in his suzerain's hands.A History of England
Finally, if a truce is made the suzerain is bound to punish the violators.Life on a Mediaeval Barony
William Stearns Davis
- a state or sovereign exercising some degree of dominion over a dependent state, usually controlling its foreign affairs
- (as modifier)a suzerain power
- a feudal overlord
- (as modifier)suzerain lord
Word Origin and History for suzerain
"sovereign, ruler," late 15c. (implied in suzerainty), from Old French sus "up, above" (from Vulgar Latin susum, from Latin sursum "upward, above," contraction of subversum, from sub "up from below") + vertere "a turning" (see versus). With ending from sovereign.