peonage

noun
pe·​on·​age | \ ˈpē-ə-nij How to pronounce peonage (audio) \

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 Amendment prohibitions against peonage and involuntary servitude. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2021 Among these players are the approximately 96% who will not go pro, and for whom a college athletic scholarship, where they are expected to subordinate education to athletic performance, is more akin to peonage. Time, 30 Mar. 2021 By now, so much online territory has been seized by our e-overlords that the rest of us have been reduced to e-peonage. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 8 Mar. 2021 All this on-screen peonage feels rather academic given the tyranny of real-life lockdown. Armond White, National Review, 15 Jan. 2021 In parts of southern Mexico, such as Yucatán and Chiapas, debt peonage tied laborers to plantations as effectively as violence. Alice Baumgartner, The New Yorker, 19 Nov. 2020 The Facebook post references peonage not ending until after World War II began, around 1940. Ashley Mott, USA TODAY, 8 July 2020 Her empathetic portraits of African-American field hands shine a light on a system of peonage that predated and outlasted the 1930s. New York Times, 12 Mar. 2020 Her empathetic portraits of African-American field hands shine a light on a system of peonage that predated and outlasted the 1930s. New York Times, 12 Mar. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of peonage

1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of peonage was in 1844

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Dictionary Entries Near peonage

peon

peonage

peonidin

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Cite this Entry

“Peonage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peonage. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for peonage

peonage

noun
pe·​on·​age | \ ˈpē-ə-nij How to pronounce peonage (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peonage

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about peonage

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