feudalism

play
noun feu·dal·ism \ˈfyü-də-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of feudalism

  1. 1 :  the system of political organization prevailing in Europe from the 9th to about the 15th centuries having as its basis the relation of lord to vassal (see vassal 1) with all land held in fee (see fee 1) and as chief characteristics homage, the service of tenants under arms and in court, wardship (see wardship 1), and forfeiture (see forfeiture 1)

  2. 2 :  any of various political or social systems similar to medieval feudalism

feudalist

play \ˈfyü-də-list\ noun

feudalistic

play \ˌfyü-də-ˈli-stik\ adjective

Recent Examples of feudalism from the Web

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

First Known Use of feudalism

1773


FEUDALISM Defined for English Language Learners

feudalism

play
noun

Definition of feudalism for English Language Learners

  • : a social system that existed in Europe during the Middle Ages in which people worked and fought for nobles who gave them protection and the use of land in return


FEUDALISM Defined for Kids

feudalism

play
noun feu·dal·ism \ˈfyü-də-ˌliz-əm\

Definition of feudalism for Students

  1. :  a social system existing in medieval Europe in which people worked and fought for nobles who gave them protection and land in return



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