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villein Syllabification: vil·lein
Pronunciation: /ˈvilin/

Definition of villein in English:


(In medieval England) a feudal tenant entirely subject to a lord or manor to whom he paid dues and services in return for land.
Example sentences
  • 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 villein

Enniskillen, penicillin
Definition of villein in:
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