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VASSAL, feudal law. This was the name given to the holder of a fief, bound to perform feudal service; this word was then always correlative to that of lord, entitled to such service.
     2. The vassal himself might be lord of some other vassal.
     3. In aftertimes, this word was used to signify a species of slave who owed servitude, and was in a state of dependency on a superior lord. 2 Bl. Com. 53; Merl. Repert. h.t.

References in periodicals archive ?
Despite all this and more, President Obama insists America is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with its vassals "on behalf of our common security.
Vassals accepted and internalized the rules and norms of the tribute system and recognized the legitimacy of China's preeminence in regional affairs.
Contrary to Liverani, the loyalty oath was not restricted to the eastern vassals or the royal guard.
Well, foul vassals, my accumulator bet was an unmitigated disaster.
The highest ranked dukes and earls in turn governed fiefs or land holdings and the vassals that dwelt there, including lower ranked aristocrats, barons and knights, as well as the commoners--serfs and peasants.
It also saw the elevation of vassals and subjects over their erstwhile overlords.
Praying with folded hands, usually while kneeling, comes from the Middle Ages, when vassals swore loyalty to their overlords by offering their folded hands, which a lord would cover with his own.
Unfortunately, the proposal now being debated in Sacramento -- Assembly Bill 1381 -- will make the residents and children of 26 independent cities little more than vassals of the city of Los Angeles.
Ose it comprises the entire information available about the medieval castles on the territory of the present-day Latvia, whoever their founders--the Order of the Brethren of Sword, or the Livonian branch of its successor the Teutonic Order (the Livonian Order), the Bishop (later Archbishop) of Riga, the Bishop of Courland, or the vassals of the aforementioned.
Meanwhile, the two squires are knighted by Prince John, who wants to make them his vassals.
Swanning across the Atlantic at every opportunity like medieval vassals, summoned to pay homage to their lord and master.
He told all of his vassals to make sure it happened, and at press time, it sure looked likely.