• WordNet 3.6
    • n serf (Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Serf 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."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n serf A villein; one of those who in the middle ages were in capable of holding property, were attached to the land and transferred with it, and were subject to feudal services of the most menial description; in early English history, one who was not free, but by reason of being allowed to have an interest in the cultivation of the soil, and a portion of time to labor for himself, had attained a status superior to that of a slave.
    • n serf A laborer rendering forced service on an estate under seigniorial prescription, as formerly in Russia.
    • n serf Figuratively, an oppressed person; a menial.
    • n serf Synonyms Serf, Slave. The serf is, in strictness, attached to the soil, and goes with it in all sales or leases. The slave is absolutely the property of his master, and may be sold, given away, etc., like any other piece of personal property. See definitions of peon and coolie. See also servitude.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Serf sėrf a slave attached to the soil and sold with it: a labourer rendering forced service in Russia: a menial
    • ***


  • Martin Luther
    “An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs, some rulers, some subjects.”
  • Ralph Nader
    Ralph Nader
    “Today the large organization is lord and master, and most of its employees have been desensitized much as were the medieval peasants who never knew they were serfs.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. servus, a slave.


In literature:

No common serf will suffice.
"One Wonderful Night" by Louis Tracy
Once the Emperor of Russia had a plan by which he was to liberate the serfs of that country.
"Moody's Anecdotes And Illustrations" by Dwight L. Moody
They began to consider how the citizens might once more be made serfs.
"Historical Tales, Vol. 6 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
They have maintained serfdom and kept serfs.
"The Necessity of Atheism" by Dr. D.M. Brooks
From ind to ind of the land, the downtrodden serfs of Ireland are rising in their millions.
"My New Curate" by P.A. Sheehan
In 1861, Russia emancipated all serfs within her borders.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 2, August, 1864" by Various
They are regarded as impure and were the serfs or villeins of the Kunbis, attached to the land.
"The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India--Volume I (of IV)" by R.V. Russell
The poor serf does it by custom and instinct.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No 3, September, 1862" by Various
Their predecessors declared the wars, but their miserable serfs fought the wars.
"The Debs Decision" by Scott Nearing
Again, the Mahars of Gujarat are the farmservants and serfs of the Kunbis.
"The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV of IV" by R.V. Russell
A martinet in his diocese, a serf in his home.
"Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama" by E. Cobham Brewer
Forty-six committees composed of 1,336 land and serf-owners, assembled to discuss the future of 22,500,000 serfs and of 120,000 owners.
"The Story of Russia" by R. Van Bergen
My estates in the Romagna have been confiscated, my serfs in Hungary freed, and I have lost frightful sums by my investments.
"Manasseh" by Maurus Jokai
The slave became the serf; that is, he could be shut in, but not shut out.
"A Short History of England" by G. K. Chesterton
The 'villain' is, first, the serf or peasant, 'villanus', because attached to the 'villa' or farm.
"English Past and Present" by Richard Chevenix Trench
In the pre-emancipation days, a "soul" signified a male serf.
"A Survey of Russian Literature, with Selections" by Isabel Florence Hapgood
For centuries the Irish were paupers and serfs, because they were ignorant and divided.
"Thomas Davis, Selections from his Prose and Poetry" by Thomas Davis
I am neither Tommy Atkins nor a Russian serf.
"The Pirate of Panama" by William MacLeod Raine
The press is powerless on the Russian serf.
"Edmond Dantès" by Edmund Flagg
How should the Autocrat of bondage be 300 The king of serfs, and set the nations free?
"The Works of Lord Byron" by Lord Byron

In poetry:

Must learn that Nature weakness scorns,
That God the serfs ignores,
That Toil deserves its crown of thorns,
And Poverty its sores;
"Prosperity" by Bernard O Dowd
Have no part in the world she made—
Serf of the rainbow, vassal flower—
Save knitting in the afternoon,
And rocking cradles, hour by hour!
"A Ballad of Woman" by Richard Le Gallienne
I see nae storied castle-hall,
Wi' banners flauntin' ower the wall
And serf and page in ready call,
Sae grand to me
As ane puir cotter's hut, wi' all
Its poverty.
"To Robert Burns" by James Whitcomb Riley
Oh! ye men of color, wake to glory!
Too long have you been the serfs of wealth;
Too long have you been their willing slaves,
And the fruits of your toil they've got by stealth.
"Men Of Color, Do Your Duty" by Robert C O Benjamin
And lo! The fate which made you hers
And gave you of her best
And set you in a sunny place,
Down-sloping to the West,
Forgot to change your fisher's heart
Serf to the sea's unrest!
"The Vassal" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
Could you brand us as villains and serfs, know ye not
What fierce, sullen hatred lurks under the scar?
How loyal to Hapsburg is Venice, I wot!
How dearly the Pole loves his father, the Czar!
"Coercion: A Poem For Then And Now" by John Reuben Thompson

In news:

How the conquistadors built empires that enriched only themselves, and created serfs out of those whom they didn't bribe into submission.
Mobile technology is turning us all into feudal serfs.
Every king, queen, knight, serf and soldier lived and died within the embrace of the Catholic faith.
I Was Jeff Koons's Studio Serf .
Serf and James at Silo's Jazz Club.
Hundreds attended the New Mexico debut of "No Country for Old Men" Wednesday at the Serf Theatre, but the event may have been canceled if the theater hadn't made last-minute improvements to comply with city fire codes.
Former New York State Senator Serf Maltese said his grandmother and her two daughters -- ages 14 and 18 -- were among the 146 who died in the fast-moving blaze that engulfed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory 100 years ago on March 25.
Amendment 8 befits hypocrisy of religious right and its political serfs.
New York City-based graffiti and graphic artist team Mint & Serf were hired by the Ace Hotel to render their street art sensibilities and graphic design know-how to the rooms and hallways of the hotel.
If he wills to be a pigmy, a serf or a slave, that shall he be.
It's a headless brassica, one in a group known as Old World cabbages that medieval serfs cooked to a mush and downed for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In science:

Its adjoint subrule is trivial; it is its own simple current group and universal grading group. • A Tambara-Yamagami fusion rule A ∪ {m} is feudal with serfs A and lord It is properly feudal iff |A| > 1 iff A is the simple current group.
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
The adjoint subrule is A; the universal grading group is {A, m} ∼= Z2 . A properly feudal fusion rule with a lone lord is Tambara-Yamagami. • The fermionic Moore-Read fusion rule is feudal with serfs {±1, ±i} and lords {±i′}.
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
Let L be a feudal fusion rule with serfs S .
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
Given L ∈ ob j L, let ΓL = (S u−→ G) with S the serfs (or the simple currents unless L is a group), G the universal grading group, and u the restriction to S of the universal grading.
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
Suppose L, ˜L ∈ ob j L, with serfs S, ˜S , lords M , ˜M , adjoint subrules A, ˜A, and restrictions u, ˜u to serfs of the universal gradings, respectively.
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
Let L be a feudal fusion rule with serfs S and lords M .
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
Let Y be the category of fusion systems on a feudal fusion rule with lords M , and X the category of ¨uberderivations on serfs over FM; in each category morphisms are gauge transformations, composed via multiplication in F.
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
Let L be a properly feudal fusion rule, or a Z2 -graded group al l of whose automorphisms are graded, with serfs S and lords M .
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
Then any ¨uberderivation on serfs over FM is gauge equivalent to one of the form (χ,
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
Let L be a feudal fusion rule with serfs S , lords M , and adjoint subrule A, and let B = FM .
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
We write f , ˜f for arbitrary fusion systems on L with recoupling matrices F, ˜F ; a, b, c, d, e for arbitrary serfs; and m, l for arbitrary lords.
Generalized Tambara-Yamagami categories
To achieve the self-exchange relaxation free (SERF) regime, one needs to shield the 50Hz noise or increase the bandwidth of the algorithm operation higher than 50Hz. As Bx, By and Bz compensate the environment fields to zero, they can be treated as the measurement results of the fields with opposite sign.
Atomic-signal-based zero field finding technique for unshielded laser-pumped atomic magnetometer