Dictionary.com

serf

[ surf ]
/ sɜrf /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: serf / serfs / serfdom on Thesaurus.com

noun
a person in a condition of feudal servitude, required to render services to a lord, commonly attached to the lord's land and transferred with it from one owner to another.
a worker who is underpaid, overworked, or otherwise exploited: Today's service-sector serfs are fighting for the most basic of job perks: a decent paycheck, a stable schedule, and paid time off when they are sick.
Obsolete. a person held in bondage or slavery.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of serf

First recorded in 1475–85; from Old French, from Latin servus “slave”

OTHER WORDS FROM serf

serf·dom [surf-duhm] /ˈsɜrf dəm/ noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH serf

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

How to use serf in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for serf

serf
/ (sɜːf) /

noun
(esp in medieval Europe) an unfree person, esp one bound to the land. If his lord sold the land, the serf was passed on to the new landlord

Derived forms of serf

serfdom or serfhood, nounserflike, adjective

Word Origin for serf

C15: from Old French, from Latin servus a slave; see serve
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 serf

serf

Under feudalism, a peasant bound to his lord's land and subject to his lord's will, but entitled to his lord's protection.

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.
FEEDBACK