peonage

noun pe·on·age \ ˈpē-ə-nij \

Definition of peonage

1 a :the use of laborers bound in servitude because of debt
b :a system of convict labor by which convicts are leased to contractors
2 :the condition of a peon

Recent Examples of peonage from the Web

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

First Known Use of peonage

1844


Law Dictionary

peonage

noun pe·on·age \ ˈpē-ə-nij \

legal Definition of peonage

:labor in a condition of servitude to extinguish a debt
  • the holding of any person to service or labor under the system known as peonage is abolished and forever prohibited
  • U.S. Code

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