Definition of villein in English:

villein

Syllabification: vil·lein
Pronunciation: /ˈvilən, -ˌān
 
/

noun

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

Origin

Middle English: variant of villain.

More definitions of villein

Definition of villein in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
noun
a small amount; a little