Definition of fief in English:


Syllabification: fief
Pronunciation: /fēf


1 historical An estate of land, especially one held on condition of feudal service.
More example sentences
  • During the Eastern Zhou royal power declined and there was a concomitant growth in the feudal fiefs, some becoming quasi-independent kingdoms.
  • The fief was usually land necessary to maintain the vassal, but oftentimes the vassal would receive regular payments of money from a lord.
  • After complicated manoeuvring on both sides, in 1202 King Philip announced that John had forfeited the Plantagenet fiefs in France.
2A person’s sphere of operation or control.
More example sentences
  • That way, I would retain control of my own fief, and still have the man I loved.
  • The vote on Sunday was the final stage in a peace plan to end 13 years of civil war and restore a government to Somalia, which has been divided into fiefs ruled by rival warlords since 1991 when dictator Siad Barre was ousted.
  • Brokaw and Jennings want to preserve their fiefs for just a little while longer (Brokaw retires on December 1).


early 17th century: from French (see fee).

Definition of fief in: