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Meaning of SERF

Pronunciation:  surf

 
WordNet Dictionary
 
 Definition: 
[n]  (medieval Europe) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord
 

SERF is a 4 letter word that starts with S.

 

 Synonyms: helot, villein
 
 See Also: cotter, cottier, thrall

 

 

Webster's 1913 Dictionary
 
 Definition: 
\Serf\, n. [F., fr. L. serus servant, slave; akin to
servare to protect, preserve, observe, and perhaps
originally, a client, a man under one's protection. Cf.
{Serve}, v. t.]
A servant or slave employed in husbandry, and in some
countries attached to the soil and transferred with it, as
formerly in Russia.

      In England, at least from the reign of Henry II, one
      only, and that the inferior species [of villeins],
      existed . . . But by the customs of France and Germany,
      persons in this abject state seem to have been called
      serfs, and distinguished from villeins, who were only
      bound to fixed payments and duties in respect of their
      lord, though, as it seems, without any legal redress if
      injured by him.                          --Hallam.

Syn: {Serf}, {Slave}.

Usage: A slave is the absolute property of his master, and
       may be sold in any way. A serf, according to the
       strict sense of the term, is one bound to work on a
       certain estate, and thus attached to the soil, and
       sold with it into the service of whoever purchases the
       land.

 

 

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