servitude

play
noun ser·vi·tude \ˈsər-və-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of servitude

  1. 1 :  a condition in which one lacks liberty especially to determine one's course of action or way of life

  2. 2 :  a right by which something (such as a piece of land) owned by one person is subject to a specified use or enjoyment by another

Examples of servitude in a Sentence

  1. the Fugitive Slave Act had the effect of returning slaves who had made it to freedom in the North to a brutal life of servitude in the South

Recent Examples of servitude from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Servitude is slavery or anything resembling it. The entire black population of colonial America lived in permanent servitude. And millions of the whites who populated this country arrived in "indentured servitude", obliged to pay off the cost of their journey with several years of labor. Servitude comes in many forms, of course: in the bad old days of the British navy, it was said that the difference between going to sea and going to jail was that you were less likely to drown in jail.

Origin and Etymology of servitude

Middle English, from Anglo-French servitute, from Latin servitudo slavery, from servus slave


SERVITUDE Defined for English Language Learners

servitude

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noun

Definition of servitude for English Language Learners

  • : the condition of being a slave or of having to obey another person


SERVITUDE Defined for Kids

servitude

play
noun ser·vi·tude \ˈsər-və-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of servitude for Students

  1. :  the condition of being a slave or of having to obey another


Law Dictionary

servitude

play
noun ser·vi·tude \ˈsər-və-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Legal Definition of servitude

  1. 1 :  a condition in which an individual lacks liberty especially to determine his or her course of action or way of life; specifically :  the state of being a slave involuntary servitude

  2. 2 :  a right by which property owned by one person is subject to a specified use or enjoyment of another —used chiefly in the civil law of Louisiana — see also dominant estate and servient estate at estate 4 — compare easement apparent servitude :  a predial servitude whose existence is perceivable by exterior signs or works (as an aqueduct or road) on the property legal servitude :  a predial servitude that is created by a limitation under the law on the use of the property natural servitude :  a predial servitude that arises from the situation of the estates (as from one being situated downhill from another) personal servitude :  a servitude that burdens property in favor of a specific named person — see also right of use, usufruct predial servitude :  a servitude that burdens one item of immovable property (as a tract of land) in favor of another Editor's note: A predial servitude is transferred along with the ownership of the dominant estate, and the servient estate is always taken subject to the servitude. A predial servitude cannot be transferred separately from the dominant estate.



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