Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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 ?
Goetze, Kleinasien, 100, who, without making any distinction between a self-subjugated country and a conquered country, maintained that the vassal king received his country back as a feud (lehen), which upon the death of the vassal would return to the Great King.
Even as Egidio preached, the papal diplomats, abetted by Chigi's hard bargaining, were striving on behalf of the Holy League to remind Ferrara of its duties as a papal vassal state, more than incidentally engaging the duchy once again in a debate over the price of salt.
Iraq is only one theatre of a larger proxy war waged by Iran via its vassal militias and allies in Baghdad, Beirut and Damascus.
Offering ductile and gray iron in these very large castings, with up to 10 molds per hour, is a somewhat unique proposition," said Vassal.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the five independent Central Asian states as a separate geopolitical space, China has sought to recreate a traditional vassal relationship between itself and those states through investments, trade, and military cooperation, argues Das (a doctoral research scholar at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru U.
The article, penned by Zhang Haipeng and Li Guoqiang, two academics at China's top state-run think-tank, argued that the Ryukyus were a vassal state of China before being annexed by Japan at the end of the 19th century, and that Tokyo's defeat in World War II should have prompted their return to Beijing.
In the Song-Jin international system (1127-1234), the weaker Song China became a Jin vassal state and acknowledged its inferior status in the Jin-derived hierarchy.
It will be the first exhibition dedicated to the architectural legacy of the infamous Jewish king, who ruled as a vassal of the Roman Empire from 37-4 B.
AKRA (CyHAN)- The Argentine government will move to request the International Sea Tribunal (IST) to intervene in the matter relating to its dispute with Ghana over a naval vassal impounded in the West African nation.
Perhaps the most interesting of these is the fundamentally hierarchical relationship between vassal and suzerain.
A cabinet member should not be a vassal or tax collector for this Government but he should inform them of the situation that Liverpool is in.
However, the Japanese went out of their way to also maintain Ryukyu's vassal status with China, thereby forming an indirect economic relationship; first with the Ming dynasty and then the Qing from 1644.