droit du seigneur


droit du sei·​gneur drwä-dᵫ-se-ˈnʸœr How to pronounce droit du seigneur (audio)
: a supposed legal or customary right of a feudal lord to have sexual relations with a vassal's bride on her wedding night

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The Count has recently abolished the feudal droit du seigneur, the legendary right of the master of an estate to sleep with his female servants on their wedding night. Matthew Aucoin, The Atlantic, 23 Nov. 2021 Fairfield refers to the company’s conduct as the online version of droit du seigneur. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 8 Mar. 2021 The sketches were about domestic violence, dieting, droit du seigneur, the female orgasm, and other matters. Emma Thompson, Vogue, 10 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'droit du seigneur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


French, right of the lord

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of droit du seigneur was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near droit du seigneur

Cite this Entry

“Droit du seigneur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/droit%20du%20seigneur. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

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