noun \ˈsər-və-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

: the condition of being a slave or of having to obey another person

Full Definition of SERVITUDE

:  a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one's course of action or way of life
:  a right by which something (as a piece of land) owned by one person is subject to a specified use or enjoyment by another

Examples of SERVITUDE

  1. <the Fugitive Slave Act had the effect of returning slaves who had made it to freedom in the North to a brutal life of servitude in the South>


Middle English, from Anglo-French servitute, from Latin servitudo slavery, from servus slave
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In property law, a right by which property owned by one person is subject to a specified use or enjoyment by another. Servitudes allow people to create stable long-term arrangements for a wide variety of purposes, including shared land uses; maintaining the character of a residential neighbourhood, commercial development, or historic property; and financing infrastructure and common facilities. Modern European civil law is derived from Roman law, which divides real servitudes into rural (those owed by one estate to another) and urban (those established for convenience). Rural servitudes include various rights of way; urban servitudes include building rights in neighbouring properties, such as drainage and encroachment rights, and rights to light, support, and view. See also easement.


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