WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
vas•sal /ˈvæsəl/USA pronunciation
n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
adj. [before a noun]
- World History(in the feudal system of the Middle Ages) a person who is given permission to use land in return for promising loyalty and usually military service to a lord or other superior.
- a person holding some similar relation to a superior; a subordinate.
vas•sal•age /ˈvæsəlɪdʒ/USA pronunciation n. [uncountable]
- World Historyhaving the status of a vassal:the superpowers and their vassal states.
(vas′əl),USA pronunciation n.
- World History(in the feudal system) a person granted the use of land, in return for rendering homage, fealty, and usually military service or its equivalent to a lord or other superior;
- a person holding some similar relation to a superior;
a subject, subordinate, follower, or retainer.
- a servant or slave.
- World Historyof, pertaining to, or characteristic of a vassal.
- World Historyhaving the status or position of a vassal.
- Celtic; compare Welsh gwas young man, Irish foss servant) + -allus noun, nominal suffix
- Medieval Latin vassallus, equivalent. to vass(us) servant (
- Middle French
- Middle English 1300–50
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
vassal /ˈvæsəl/ n
- (in feudal society) a man who entered into a personal relationship with a lord to whom he paid homage and fealty in return for protection and often a fief. A great vassal was in vassalage to a king and a rear vassal to a great vassal
- a person, nation, etc, in a subordinate, suppliant, or dependent position relative to another
- (as modifier): vassal status
Etymology: 14th Century: via Old French from Medieval Latin vassallus, from vassus servant, of Celtic origin; compare Welsh gwas boy, Old Irish foss servant
- of or relating to a vassal
'vassal' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):