vas·​sal·​age | \ ˈva-sə-lij How to pronounce vassalage (audio) \

Definition of vassalage

1 : a position of subordination or submission (as to a political power)
2 : the state of being a vassal
3 : the homage, fealty, or services due from a vassal

Examples of vassalage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those favoring Brexit blasted Mrs. May’s deal as a form of vassalage that would prevent Britain from striking its own trade deals with the rest of the world. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Brexit and Boris Johnson Send the British Pound on a Slide," 31 July 2019 In transition Britain will be in a form of vassalage, obliged to apply all EU laws and regulations with no say in making them. The Economist, "“Get Brexit done”? It’s not as simple as Boris Johnson claims," 5 Dec. 2019 Yet though neither party seems likely to revert to the Republicans’ former state of corporate vassalage, a sweeping corporate retreat is unlikelier still. The Economist, "The Kochtopus’s garden," 29 Aug. 2019 The Qataris, in turn, argue that the Saudis want nothing short of Doha's vassalage. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The Persian Gulf crisis has no winners, except maybe Iran," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vassalage.' 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 vassalage

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vassalage

Middle English, "knightly prowess, state of a vassal," borrowed from Anglo-French, "courage, exploit" from vassal "worthy man, vassal" + -age -age

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Time Traveler for vassalage

Time Traveler

The first known use of vassalage was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Vassalage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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