Definition of vassal in English:
1A holder of land by feudal tenure on conditions of homage and allegiance.
- Liege homage involved the vassal admitting his obligation to pay all services, including the provision of military assistance.
- These oath-takings are critical to Tolkien's mythologising of the past because they reproduce the feudal bonds that a vassal pays to his liege lord.
- In the feudal relationship, a vassal owed loyalty and service to a lord according to the terms of their personal agreement.
1.1A person or country in a subordinate position to another: [as modifier]: a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire
More example sentences
- The last king, who possessed only the land on the right bank of the Bosna, sought to strengthen his position by becoming a vassal of the pope.
- About 800 years ago it was also the site of the legendary vassal state, the Western Xia Kingdom, which was finally conquered by Genghis Khan.
- A restored Stuart monarchy would have made Britain a vassal state of France.
- Example sentences
- The fief overshadowed fealty, the benefice became more important than vassalage, and freemen began to swear allegiance to the highest bidder only.
- In 1163, he attempted to firmly define his rights as feudal overlord of the Welsh princes by demanding oaths of vassalage from them at the Council of Woodstock.
- He understood the practice of European vassalage and the importance attached to an oath taken to an lord.