serfdom

noun serf·dom \ ˈsərf-dəm , -təm \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of serfdom

:the condition of a tenant farmer bound to a hereditary plot of land and to the will of a landlord : the state or fact of being a serf
  • Despite obvious personal repugnance for serfdom, she enhanced the powers of nobles to demand more labor from their ill-treated and unorganized serfs.
  • —Carol S. Leonard
  • Servitude stretched from serfdom in Russia to the sugar plantations of the Caribbean to the indigenous slave systems in Africa that supplied both the Arabian and Atlantic trades.
  • —Adam Hochschild

First Known Use of serfdom

1837


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