suzerain

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noun su·zer·ain \ˈsü-zə-rən, -ˌrān; ˈsüz-rən\

Definition of suzerain

  1. 1 :  a superior feudal lord to whom fealty is due :  overlord

  2. 2 :  a dominant state controlling the foreign relations of a vassal state but allowing it sovereign authority in its internal affairs

Origin and Etymology of suzerain

French, from Medieval French souserain, from sus up (from Latin sursum, from sub- up + versum -ward, from neuter of versus, past participle of vertere to turn) + -erain (as in soverain sovereign) — more at sub-, worth


First Known Use: 1807

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