or vil·lain·age, vil·lan·age, vil·len·age



the tenure by which a villein held land and tenements from a lord.
the condition or status of a villein.

Origin of villeinage

1275–1325; Middle English vilenage < Anglo-French, Old French. See villein, -age Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for villeinage

Historical Examples of villeinage

  • But noblesse,—villeinage,—these are fixed,—may not be overthrown.

    Long Will

    Florence Converse

  • Such redemption was considered a special mark of tenure in villeinage.

    Woman, Church &amp; State

    Matilda Joslyn Gage

  • In England it subsisted for some ages under the name of villeinage.

    Dissertation on Slavery

    St. George Tucker.

  • For one thing, the poll-tax was stopped, and the end of villeinage was hastened.

  • The total abolition of all villeinage (forced labour) and serfdom.

British Dictionary definitions for villeinage



noun (in medieval Europe)

the status and condition of a villein
the tenure by which a villein held his land
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