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serf Syllabification: serf

Definition of serf in English:


An agricultural laborer bound under the feudal system to work on his lord’s estate.
Example sentences
  • Here in the Thirty Years War, the seigneurial system collapsed and serfs refused to perform labour services.
  • One could argue that the feudal system of lords and serfs was a form of sharecropping.
  • In feudal times the serfs had to rely on the beneficence of the lord of the manor.


Example sentences
  • The Village Assemblies, too, have become worse than they were in the days of serfage.
  • When the Emancipation question was raised there was a considerable diversity of opinion as to the effect which the abolition of serfage would have on the material interests of the two classes directly concerned.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'slave'): from Old French, from Latin servus 'slave'.

Words that rhyme with serf

scurf, surf, turf
Definition of serf in:
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