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feudalism

[ fyood-l-iz-uhm ]
/ ˈfyud lˌɪz əm /
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noun
the feudal system, or its principles and practices.
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Origin of feudalism

First recorded in 1830–40; feudal + -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM feudalism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use feudalism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for feudalism

feudalism
/ (ˈfjuːdəˌlɪzəm) /

noun
Also called: feudal system the legal and social system that evolved in W Europe in the 8th and 9th centuries, in which vassals were protected and maintained by their lords, usually through the granting of fiefs, and were required to serve under them in warSee also vassalage, fief
any social system or society, such as medieval Japan or Ptolemaic Egypt, that resembles medieval European feudalism

Derived forms of feudalism

feudalist, nounfeudalistic, adjective
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

Cultural definitions for feudalism

feudalism
[ (fyoohd-l-iz-uhm) ]

A system of obligations that bound lords and their subjects in Europe during much of the Middle Ages. In theory, the king owned all or most of the land and gave it to his leading nobles in return for their loyalty and military service. The nobles in turn held land that peasants, including serfs, were allowed to farm in return for the peasants' labor and a portion of their produce. Under feudalism, people were born with a permanent position in society. (See fief and vassal.)

notes for feudalism

Today, the word feudal is sometimes used as a general term for a set of social relationships that seems unprogressive or out of step with modern society.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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