Definition of villeinage in English:

villeinage

Line breaks: vil¦lein|age
Pronunciation: /ˈvɪlənɪdʒ
 
, -leɪn-/

noun

[mass noun] historical
  • The tenure or status of a villein in the feudal system.
    More example sentences
    • So long as villeinage had importance, the courts reinforced status by requiring some labour services over and above that fixed by custom and practice.
    • Rents had been low, too, on peasants' customary holdings; labour services had been commuted, and servile villeinage had virtually disappeared by 1485.
    • In particular, they rejected villeinage - the condition of hereditary unfreedom - which bore down on them in a variety of ways.

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elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody