• WordNet 3.6
    • n vassal a person holding a fief; a person who owes allegiance and service to a feudal lord
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Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Vassal A subject; a dependent; a servant; a bondman; a slave. "The vassals of his anger."
    • a Vassal Resembling a vassal; slavish; servile. "The sun and every vassal star."
    • Vassal (Feud. Law) The grantee of a fief, feud, or fee; one who holds land of a superior, and who vows fidelity and homage to him; a feudatory; a feudal tenant.
    • v. t Vassal To treat as a vassal; to subject to control; to enslave.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n vassal A feudatory tenant; one holding lands by the obligation to render military service or its equivalent to his superior, especially in contradistinction to rear vassal and vavasor; a vassal of the first order—that is, one holding directly from the king. Compare great vassal, below.
    • n vassal A subject; a dependent; a retainer; a servant; one who attends on or does the will of another.
    • n vassal A bondman; a slave.
    • n vassal A low wretch.
    • vassal Servile; subservient.
    • vassal To subject to vassalage; enslave; treat as a vassal.
    • vassal To command; rise over or above; dominate.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Vassal vas′al one who holds land from, and renders homage to, a superior: a dependant, retainer: a bondman, slave:
    • adj Vassal (Shak.) servile
    • v.t Vassal to enslave, to dominate
    • n Vassal vas′al (Shak.) a low wretch
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., fr. LL. vassallus, vassus,; of Celtic origin; cf. W. & Corn. gwas, a youth, page, servant, Arm. gwaz, a man, a male. Cf. Valet Varlet Vavasor
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—Low L. vassalis—Bret. gwaz, a servant; cf. W. gwas, a youth.


In literature:

This is the truth, which I am bound to tell my king and lord, as his faithful vassal and servant, which I am.
"The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898: Volume XIV., 1606-1609" by Various
These with their forces, vanquished by Pandu at the head of his army, were made the vassals of the Kurus.
"The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1"
She had become the vassal of England and France.
"New York Times Current History: The European War, Vol 2, No. 1, April, 1915" by Various
But, indeed, Canadians were never vassals.
"New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915" by Various
Our commerce must become vassal to her and dependent on her will.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. V. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
Slaves in the Carolinas and Virginias answered to the vassals and villeins of England.
"History of the Negro Race in America From 1619 to 1880. Vol 1" by George W. Williams
It will perhaps be known before night whether France is to remain a great nation or become the vassal of Germany.
"The Forest of Swords" by Joseph A. Altsheler
It is probable that both of these kings were regarded as vassals of the Philistines and paid tribute.
"The Bible Period by Period" by Josiah Blake Tidwell
The length and breadth of the earth are thine, and those who dwell in the East and the West are vassals unto thee.
"The Literature of the Ancient Egyptians" by E. A. Wallis Budge
In 1278 Edward I. laboured to extract from Alexander an acknowledgment that he was England's vassal.
"A Short History of Scotland" by Andrew Lang

In poetry:

And lords to meet the pilgrim came,
And vassals bent the knee;
For all 'mid Scotland's chiefs of fame,
Was none more famed than he.
"The Gray Brother" by Sir Walter Scott
Had I thine, when words did fail—
Vassal-words their hasting chief,
On the white awaiting leaf
Shapes of power should tell the tale.
"Brother Artist" by George MacDonald
Still and pale, a dreamless slumber
Slept he on the battle-plain,--
Steed beneath and vassal o'er him,--
Lost amid the hosts of slain.
"The Legend Of The Iron Cross" by Mary Gardiner Horsford
Horns this morn are hoarsely sounding
From Loch Buy's ancient wall,
While for chase the guests and vassals
Gather in the court and hall.
"Loch Buy" by John Douglas Sutherland Campbell
I, late his boast, his heir, his pride,
Must like a guilty vassal kneel;
I, who was gallant Edwin's bride,
Must to my widow'd state appeal!
"Vignette - VII" by Matilda Betham
We stride the river daily at its spring,
Nor, in our childless thoughtlessness, foresee
What myriad vassal streams shall tribute bring,
How like an equal it shall greet the sea.
"To W.L. Garrison" by James Russell Lowell

In science:

The target has 7 cm thick and 3.5 cm in diameter vassal of liquid hydrogen.
Multiparticle Production at High Multiplicities