[sur-vi-tood, -tyood]


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.

Origin of servitude

1425–75; late Middle English < Late Latin servitūdō, equivalent to servi-, combining form of servus slave + -tūdō, -tude

Synonyms for servitude

Antonyms for servitude Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for servitude

Contemporary Examples of servitude

Historical Examples of servitude

  • Through what medium can the idea of servitude enter their minds?

  • And so may the temple fall with its deity of falsehood and servitude!

  • But it by no means follows that the domination of servitude must, or even can, be perpetual.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • What wonder that we can live like masters, notwithstanding that servitude is not known in Freeland!


    Theodor Hertzka

  • God help the Danes, if they have fallen into servitude among these blackguards!

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for servitude



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