(In medieval England) a feudal tenant entirely subject to a lord or manor to whom he paid dues and services in return for land.
- The court customary was the court for unfree tenants or villeins and was presided over by the lord's steward or bailiff.
- At the lowest end of the social scale this was self-evidently true of slaves, but it was also true of many other categories of tenant - the English villein, the Scottish neif, the Welsh taeog, and the Irish betagh.
- Typically, villeins were required to work on their lord's lands at harvest time and to carry his produce to the market.
Middle English: variant of villain.
Words that rhyme with villeinEnniskillen, penicillin
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