[ sur-vi-tood, -tyood ]
/ ˈsɜr vɪˌtud, -ˌtyud /


slavery or bondage of any kind: political or intellectual servitude.
compulsory service or labor as a punishment for criminals: penal servitude.
Law. a right possessed by one person to use another's property.

Nearby words

  1. servilely,
  2. servility,
  3. serving,
  4. servite,
  5. servitor,
  6. servius tullius,
  7. servlet,
  8. servo,
  9. servo system,
  10. servo-

Origin of servitude

1425–75; late Middle English < Late Latin servitūdō, equivalent to servi-, combining form of servus slave + -tūdō, -tude Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for servitude

British Dictionary definitions for servitude


/ (ˈsɜːvɪˌtjuːd) /


the state or condition of a slave; bondage
the state or condition of being subjected to or dominated by a person or thingservitude to drink
law a burden attaching to an estate for the benefit of an adjoining estate or of some definite personSee also easement
short for penal servitude

Word Origin for servitude

C15: via Old French from Latin servitūdō, from servus a slave

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 servitude



early 15c., "condition of being enslaved," from Old French servitude, servitute (13c.) and directly from Late Latin servitudo "slavery," from Latin servus "a slave" (see serve (v.)) + abstract noun suffix.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper