Share this entry

Share this page

droit de seigneur

Line breaks: droit de sei|gneur
Pronunciation: /ˌdrwʌ də sɛnˈjəː
 
/

Definition of droit de seigneur in English:

noun

[mass noun]
The alleged right of a medieval feudal lord to have sexual intercourse with a vassal’s bride on her wedding night.
Example sentences
  • The count plots to exercise his droit de seigneur, the right of titled men to deflower the brides of lesser folk.
  • Regret about the abolition of droit de seigneur and the right of feudal overlords to flog peasants may be comic, but it is hardly an interesting political philosophy.
  • This seems somewhat churlish: what is the point of having an knighthood if you can't exercise the ancient rights that this charming custom affords - such as droit de seigneur and queue-jumping in swanky restaurants.

Origin

French, literally 'lord's right'.

Definition of droit de seigneur in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure