suzerain

noun
su·​zer·​ain | \ ˈsü-zə-rən How to pronounce suzerain (audio) , -ˌrān; ˈsüz-rən \

Definition of suzerain

1 : a superior feudal lord to whom fealty is due : overlord
2 : a dominant state controlling the foreign relations of a vassal state but allowing it sovereign authority in its internal affairs

Examples of suzerain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even now, in the 21st century, some U.S. officials and elites still deep in their hearts know and understand the world through the framework of the suzerain and its colonies. Marc Tracy, New York Times, "Inside The Wall Street Journal, Tensions Rise Over ‘Sick Man’ China Headline," 22 Feb. 2020

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

First Known Use of suzerain

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for suzerain

French, from Middle 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about suzerain

Time Traveler for suzerain

Time Traveler

The first known use of suzerain was in 1807

See more words from the same year

Statistics for suzerain

Cite this Entry

“Suzerain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suzerain. Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on suzerain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suzerain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suzerain

Comments on suzerain

What made you want to look up suzerain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!