A labourer only slightly above a slave; one bound to work his lord's land, from whom he had land to feed himself and family; unlike a "sokeman he could not leave without permission. When the land's lord changed, the serf, and his family, was counted as part of the estate's "chattels. According to the Rectitudines Singularum Personarum a serf was to have a midwinter feast and another at Easter, some land and a "harvest handful, besides their needful dues. This system broke down after the "plague years of 1348, when such dues became money transactions, labour being in short supply. [< Lat. servus = servant] -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

(attached to the soil), , , ,

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  • serf — serf …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • serf — serf, serve [ sɛr(f), sɛrv ] n. • XIe; lat. servus « esclave » ♦ Hist. Sous la féodalité, Personne qui n avait pas de liberté personnelle complète, était attachée à une terre, frappée de diverses incapacités et assujettie à certaines obligations… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • serf — serf, erve (sèrf, sèr v ; au pluriel, la plupart font entendre l f ; cependant quelques uns le prononcent sêr, comme cerfs ; c est ainsi qu au XVIe siècle Palsgrave, p. 25, indique la prononciation ; Masson, Helvét. I, l a fait rimer avec fers :… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Serf — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • serf — [ sɜrf ] noun count in the past, someone who lived and worked on land belonging to another person and who could not leave without that person s permission …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • serf — (n.) late 15c., slave, from M.Fr. serf, from L. servum (nom. servus) slave (see SERVE (Cf. serve)). Fallen from use in original sense by 18c. Meaning lowest class of cultivators of the soil in continental European countries is from 1610s. Use by… …   Etymology dictionary

  • serf — SERF, Serve. adj. Qui n est pas libre, qui est entierement dependant d un maistre. Les hommes serfs. il est de condition serve. Serf, est aussi subst. Il n y a point de serfs en France …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • serf — Mot Monosíl·lab Nom masculí …   Diccionari Català-Català

  • serf — [sə:f US sə:rf] n [Date: 1400 1500; : French; Origin: Latin servus; SERVE1] someone in the past who lived and worked on land that they did not own and who had to obey the owner of the land →↑slave1 (1) →↑peasant …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • serf — [n] slave bondservant, bondsman/woman, chattel, laborer, peon, servant, vassal, villain, villein; concept 348 …   New thesaurus

  • serf — ► NOUN ▪ (in the feudal system) an agricultural labourer who was tied to working on a particular estate. DERIVATIVES serfdom noun. ORIGIN Latin servus slave …   English terms dictionary

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