indentured servant

noun

: a person who signs and is bound by indentures to work for another for a specified time especially in return for payment of travel expenses and maintenance

Examples of indentured servant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In every direction are street signs that bear the names of the town’s 19th century settlers, who were freeborn Black citizens, the formerly enslaved and indentured servants. Donna M. Owens, Baltimore Sun, 16 June 2023 The outline represents Grace Wisher, a free Black child who was Pickersgill’s indentured servant and apprentice. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, 26 Aug. 2021 The tensions lie in the rancor between the colony’s Puritan community and the Anglican couple Eleanor and John Billington, who until recently were indentured servants. Samantha Harvey, New York Times, 16 Mar. 2020 At the time, the tobacco economy relied on white and black indentured servants with finite contracts and some rights under the law. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, 8 Nov. 2019 No people or animals other than birds lived on the archipelago until Portuguese explorers discovered it in the early 15th century and populated it with minor gentry, indentured servants, slaves, and prisoners given the choice between jail and exile. Trish Lorenz, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Feb. 2020 The laws never went into effect, and under her reign, the nobility increased its power over their indentured servants. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, 1 Nov. 2019 Mattai’s multimedia objects, which examine the present-day legacy of her family’s past as indentured servants in Guyana, is thoughtful, colorful and complicated. John Wenzel, The Know, 24 Dec. 2019 As late as 1964, Bo and Lake Giles were still toiling like indentured servants. CBS News, 23 Dec. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'indentured servant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1723, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of indentured servant was in 1723

Dictionary Entries Near indentured servant

Cite this Entry

“Indentured servant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indentured%20servant. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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