Definition of seneschal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsɛnɪʃ(ə)l/


1 historical The steward or major-domo of a medieval great house.
Example sentences
  • Originally purely a household officer, the task of the steward, or seneschal, was to place dishes on the royal table, but like many comparable offices it gathered other duties and rose in prestige.
  • The seneschal began presumably by being the major-domo of the German barbarian princes who settled in the empire, and was therefore the predecessor of the mayors of the palace of the Merovingian kings.
  • In the great medieval households of bygone days the Seneschal was in charge of the castle, estate or home.
2chiefly historical A governor or other administrative or judicial officer.
Example sentences
  • ‘Death by hanging, your Majesty,’ the seneschal immediately responded, a grave tone to his rich voice.
  • First, her identity as a knight is determined by her relation to Amoret, which has been secured by her martial victory over her rival and affirmed by the court's seneschal.
  • A quick visit to the King's seneschal confirmed that he could indeed reclaim his men, and that they would be dispatched to the manor at Cosh that afternoon.


Middle English: from Old French, from medieval Latin seniscalus, from a Germanic compound of words meaning 'old' and 'servant'.

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