vassal

(redirected from Vassals)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to Vassals: Fiefs
See: dependent

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 ?
According to the Marxian definition, the three elements which characterize feudalism are: lords, vassals and fiefs.
Adam and Eve have plighted their troth, have become vassals of God, and later, when they do break faith, the Mystere poet treats them as a twelfth-century court would have: as traitors.
Surrounding the Big Kahuna are dozens of vassals, each committed to assuring that he only hears or sees what they want him to know.
The Cid is drawn as a typical Spanish warrior: proud, ruthless, and calculating at the same time that he is kind to his vassals and generous to a fault.
It came to include the curriculum of training the young knight to fight, to hunt, to serve his lord, to govern his own vassals, and ultimately it evolved into that courtly ideal in which the true knight was not only courageous and skillful in war but also generous, pious, and courteous.
Trump's position to prop up the Saudi vassals, therefore, is not only illegal and immoral, it's ineffective and impossible.
SDSM spokesperson Petre Silegov informed that they will support BDI's candidate for President of Parliament Talal Xhaferi, and observer Kim Mehmeti wrote on his Facebook profile that SDSM prefers the Albanian vassals that were previously used by VMRO-DPMNE.
We have no control over unelected commissioners, we are mere vassals of a vast state machine run by anonymous officials who we didn't elect, but who have the power to impose laws upon us that we haven't debated and have no democratic means to repeal.
Foreign Minister: Iran gives its vassals freedom to bark.
Finally, why do Central Massachusetts legislators, including those in the House, always seem to act like vassals of the Boston politicians?
Medieval lords had vassals who owed them military service; the problem was that for most of them it was temporary, for at best a few months at a time.
But at the same time, Jia Yi theorizes that the ruler will earn the gratitude and allegiance of the high-ranking vassals that benefit from the exclusion: they will recognize and be grateful for the special treatment they receive, and repay it with loyalty.