indentured servant

noun

: a person who signs and is bound by indentures to work for another for a specified time especially in return for payment of travel expenses and maintenance

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The outline represents Grace Wisher, a free Black child who was Pickersgill’s indentured servant and apprentice. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, 26 Aug. 2021 The tensions lie in the rancor between the colony’s Puritan community and the Anglican couple Eleanor and John Billington, who until recently were indentured servants. Samantha Harvey, New York Times, 16 Mar. 2020 At the time, the tobacco economy relied on white and black indentured servants with finite contracts and some rights under the law. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, 8 Nov. 2019 No people or animals other than birds lived on the archipelago until Portuguese explorers discovered it in the early 15th century and populated it with minor gentry, indentured servants, slaves, and prisoners given the choice between jail and exile. Trish Lorenz, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Feb. 2020 The laws never went into effect, and under her reign, the nobility increased its power over their indentured servants. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, 1 Nov. 2019 Mattai’s multimedia objects, which examine the present-day legacy of her family’s past as indentured servants in Guyana, is thoughtful, colorful and complicated. John Wenzel, The Know, 24 Dec. 2019 As late as 1964, Bo and Lake Giles were still toiling like indentured servants. CBS News, 23 Dec. 2019 Before then, more families lived on farms, out of sight of surveillance, and children could be their parents’ little workers—indentured servants until adulthood. Lynne Tillman, Harper's magazine, 25 Nov. 2019 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1723, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of indentured servant was in 1723

Dictionary Entries Near indentured servant

Cite this Entry

“Indentured servant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indentured%20servant. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on indentured servant

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ