peonage

noun
pe·on·age | \ ˈpē-ə-nij \

Definition of peonage 

1a : 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

Examples of peonage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

They can not be extricated from the theory that a class of people carry peonage in their blood. Michael Harriot, The Root, "We Were 8 Years in Power Moves Ta-Nehisi Coates to Top of Black America’s Draft Board," 2 Oct. 2017 Eight states passed laws disenfranchising the urban poor, and the new state of California prohibited slavery but established the practice of peonage on Native Americans that denied them political rights. Time Staff, Time, "7 Things People Get Wrong About American History," 26 Sep. 2017

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near peonage

Penzhinskaya

Penzias

peon

peonage

peonidin

peonin

peonism

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Time Traveler for peonage

The first known use of peonage was in 1844

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More Definitions for peonage

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 prohibitedU.S. Code

More from Merriam-Webster on peonage

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about peonage

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