• WordNet 3.6
    • n servitude state of subjection to an owner or master or forced labor imposed as punishment "penal servitude"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1850, Michigan's state constitution included the following line: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this state." This inadvertently legalized slavery as an appropriate punishment for crime. It wasn't until 1963 that the grammar was fixed to outlaw slavery. The change required shifting the comma following "servitude" to the position after "slavery."
    • Servitude (Law) A right whereby one thing is subject to another thing or person for use or convenience, contrary to the common right.
    • Servitude Servants, collectively. "After him a cumbrous train
      Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude ."
    • Servitude The state of voluntary or compulsory subjection to a master; the condition of being bound to service; the condition of a slave; slavery; bondage; hence, a state of slavish dependence. "You would have sold your king to slaughter,
      His princes and his peers to servitude ."
      "A splendid servitude ; . . . for he that rises up early, and goes to bed late, only to receive addresses, is really as much abridged in his freedom as he that waits to present one."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n servitude The condition of a slave or servant; the state of subjection to a master; slavery; bondage.
    • n servitude Menial service or condition.
    • n servitude Compulsory service or labor, such as a criminal has to undergo as a punishment: as, penal servitude. See penal.
    • n servitude Service rendered in duty performed in the army or navy. Compare service, 6.
    • n servitude A state of spiritual, moral, or mental bondage or subjection; compulsion; subordination.
    • n servitude Servants collectively.
    • n servitude In law, the burden of an easement; the condition of a tenement which is subject to some right of enjoyment by another than the owner of the tenement, in virtue of his ownership of another tenement. (See easement.) In Roman law, a right to use or deal with, in a given and definite manner, a thing belonging to another. As to real estate, it is nearly equivalent or correlative to the easement of the common law, except that it also embraces rights to take the fruits of the servient estate, which in English law are not called easements, but profits à prendre.
    • n servitude Synonyms Serfdom, thraldom, vassalage, peonage.
    • n servitude Servitude, Slavery, Bondage. These words express involuntary subjection, and are in the order of strength. Servitude is the general word, its application to voluntary service being obsolete. Slavery emphasizes the completeness and the degradation of the state. Bondage, literally the state of being bound, is used chiefly in elevated style or figurative senses: as, bondage to appetite; Egyptian bondage. Servitude is the only one of these words that applies to compulsory and unpaid service required as a legal penalty; the phrase penal servitude is very common. See serf and captivity.
    • n servitude In civil and Scots law, the subjection of a person or thing to another person or thing. The word is generally used as meaning an easement or real servitude.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Servitude state of being a slave: slavery: state of slavish dependence: menial service: compulsory servitude: :
    • Servitude (law) a burden affecting land or other heritable subjects, by which the proprietor is either restrained from the full use of his property or is obliged to suffer another to do certain acts upon it: service rendered in the army or navy
    • Servitude (obs.) servants collectively
    • ***


  • Kwame Nkrumah
    Kwame Nkrumah
    “We prefer self-government with danger to servitude in tranquility.”
  • Aldous Huxley
    “Man is an intelligence, not served by, but in servitude to his organs.”
  • Georges Bataille
    “The sovereign being is burdened with a servitude that crushes him, and the condition of free men is deliberate servility.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “The revelation of Thought takes men out of servitude into freedom.”
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    “Thought takes man out of servitude, into freedom.”
  • Albert Camus
    “The real passion of the twentieth century is servitude.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. servitudo,: cf. F. servitude,


In literature:

At Rome, consuls, senators, and knights hurried to embrace their servitude.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol XI." by Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
In all that time no people who speak the English language have borne such servitude.
"A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents" by James D. Richardson
The promise of liberty is more formidable than the threat of servitude.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXIX." by Various
A wild horse meeting a domestic one, taunted him with his condition of servitude.
"Cobwebs From an Empty Skull" by Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)
But as he came through the trees, he decided in his mind that they were the servitude of some great man: varlets, hirelings or slaves.
"The Brook Kerith" by George Moore
But this degenerate white man was not content with the solitary freedom of the savage life and his escape from a state of servitude.
"Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Vol 1 (of 2)" by Thomas Mitchell
The assistants in these labours are the Indian men and women, legally reduced to servitude.
"What I Saw in California" by Edwin Bryant
Antonyms: captivity, bondage, servitude, subjection, constraint, serfdom, slavery.
"Putnam's Word Book" by Louis A. Flemming
The villeins agreed to assist each other in resisting by force their lords' efforts to return them to servitude.
"Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed." by S. A. Reilly
But, on the other hand, long years of servitude and hardship had made them timid as gallant dogs are made so by fasting or the whip.
"The Waters of Edera" by Louise de la Ramée, a.k.a. Ouida
Not necessarily an unhappy servitude, I hasten to remark, for servitude is not always an unhappy condition.
"Mince Pie" by Christopher Darlington Morley
True, we are not in much danger of servitude to tradition in literature to-day.
"The Art of Letters" by Robert Lynd
At nine o'clock my short servitude ended.
"The Indiscretion of the Duchess" by Anthony Hope
The laws are framed for the object of reducing the greater part of the people to servitude.
"After London" by Richard Jefferies
They serve an apprenticeship of servitude to qualify them for the trade of tyranny.
"The Works Of The Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. IX. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
A rough life with liberty is better than luxurious servitude.
"The Lure of the North" by Harold Bindloss
Home with the savage is but a herding, a servitude.
"The Christian Home" by Samuel Philips
They were yet slaves, crushed by a cruel servitude, without education or religious instruction.
"The Negro" by W.E.B. Du Bois
The least sentence I can pass upon you is a sentence of Three years' penal servitude.
"Mrs. Warren's Daughter" by Sir Harry Johnston
We have now no other alternative than independence, or the most ignominious and galling servitude.
"American Eloquence, Volume I. (of 4) Studies In American Political History (1896)" by Various

In poetry:

And when this transient life shall end,
Oh, may some kind eternal friend
Bid me from servitude ascend,
"The Slave's Complaint" by George Moses Horton
Troop in the doors of servitude;
I see the children weary-eyed,
I see the time-clock, and I see
The endless day that glooms inside.
"Ballad of The Seven O'Clock Whistle" by Richard Le Gallienne
Where's then their willing servitude ?
Meek slaves for their creator's use.
They make a mock of flesh and blood
That passes with a morning's dews.
"Vigil" by Katharine Tynan
They knew not Rome, before its sign,
Bending her brow bound with the nations' threne,
Would sweep all lands from Nile to Rhine
In servitude unto the Nazarene.
"The Empty Cross" by Cale Young Rice
Speak! speak! who will rescue our Emerald Isle?
Now bowed by the oppressor in servitude vile!
Her sons are all scattered, her daughters are gone,
And she is left desolate, forlorn and alone.
"Song To Erin" by Mary Weston Fordham
Joseph in servitude appears;
A lab'rer more than three-score years;
And, with his masters, in such grace,
Was never known to change his place.
In winter eight-pence was his gains;
In summer twelve rewards his pains.
"Happiness" by William Hutton

In news:

Opponents of House bills predict increased litigation, 'domestic servitude' status.
On this tiny, tropical outpost of the United States, many people describe what happens to foreign workers here as something close to servitude.
Filipino ex-employees say Grand Isle Shipyard pressed them into 'involuntary servitude '.
Mother Arrested for Human Trafficking, Putting Daughter in "Sexual Servitude ".
Traffickers force more men into servitude .
Involuntary Servitude at the Long Beach Court House PDF Print E-mail.
Men in ' Servitude '.
A male in " servitude " is more impressive than a woman, of whom " servitude " is expected.
Washington, D.C.-based Free the Slaves estimates that as many as 27 million people worldwide are being held in various forms of involuntary servitude.
It's disrespectful and casts women into a state of servitude for which a man would never stand.
Across the world, women, children, and men are forced or pressured into jobs that keep them in modern-day servitude.
Filipino ex-employees say Grand Isle Shipyard pressed them into 'involuntary servitude'.
The hysterics ' definition of tyranny is being forced to buy health insurance to prevent them from becoming public charges — under terms identical to those prescribed by the man who was supposed to save us from servitude, Mitt Romney.
Filipino ex-employees say Grand Isle Shipyard pressed them into ' involuntary servitude'.
Filipino ex-employees say Grand Isle Shipyard pressed them into 'involuntary servitude'.