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corvée

[kawr-vey]
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noun
  1. unpaid labor for one day, as on the repair of roads, exacted by a feudal lord.
  2. an obligation imposed on inhabitants of a district to perform services, as repair of roads, bridges, etc., for little or no remuneration.
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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

Historical Examples

  • I should have been with Yankling Sahib now but for this cursed beegar (the corvee).

    Kim

    Rudyard Kipling

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for corvee

corvée

noun
  1. European history a day's unpaid labour owed by a feudal vassal to his lord
  2. the practice or an instance of forced labour
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Word Origin

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

n.

mid-14c., "day's unpaid labor due to a lord by vassals under French feudal system" (abolished 1776), from Old French corvee (12c.), from Late Latin corrogata (opera) "requested work," from fem. past participle of Latin corrogare, from com- "with" (see com-) + rogare "to ask" (see rogation).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper