• IPA: /ˈvæsəl/

vassal (plural vassals)

  1. (historical) The grantee of a fief, feud, or fee; one who keeps land of a superior, and who vows fidelity and homage to him, normally a lord of a manor; a feudatory; a feudal tenant.
  2. A subordinate
    Synonyms: subject, dependant, servant, slave
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 2”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      The vassals of his anger.
Related terms

Translations Translations Adjective

vassal (not comparable)

  1. Resembling a vassal; slavish; servile.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost, Act IV, scene iii
      Did they, quoth you? / Who sees the heavenly Rosaline / That, like a rude and savage man of Inde / At the first opening of the gorgeous east / Bows not his vassal head and strucken blind / Kisses the base ground with obedient breast?

vassal (vassals, present participle vassalling; past and past participle vassalled)

  1. (transitive) To treat as a vassal or to reduce to the position of a vassal; to subject to control; to enslave.
  2. (transitive) To subordinate to someone or something.
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