tenant in chief

or ten·ant-in-chief


a feudal vassal who holds land directly from the king.

Origin of tenant in chief

First recorded in 1600–10
Also called ten·ant in cap·i·te [kap-i-tee] /ˈkæp ɪ ti/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for tenant-in-chief



(in feudal society) a tenant who held some or all of his lands directly from the king
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