Definition of fealty in English:



mass nounhistorical
  • 1A feudal tenant's or vassal's sworn loyalty to a lord.

    ‘they owed fealty to the Earl rather than the King’
    • ‘The Anglo-Saxons used oaths not only to swear fealty to feudal lords, but also to ensure honesty during legal proceedings and transactions.’
    • ‘The Crusaders would remain for one year in the East to assist the new Emperor; any who remained thereafter would have to take an oath of fealty to him.’
    • ‘Nearly helpless, Harold was forced to swear an oath of fealty to William and to swear further that he would advocate William's cause in England.’
    • ‘By that I mean a vassal/lord relationship in which the former swears fealty to the latter in return for control of the lands which he owns.’
    • ‘No, what's important is your unswerving fealty to the Lord.’
    1. 1.1 Formal acknowledgement of loyalty to a lord.
      ‘a property for which she did fealty’
      • ‘Homage and fealty performed by the great men after the coronation were arguably of greater practical importance than the ceremony itself.’
      • ‘The essence of the original feudal system introduced by William I was that tenants of manors or other substantial units of land had obligations to their lords, of which fealty, suit of court, and military service were the most common.’
      • ‘Of all the bonds of feudalism, the greatest and the most important bond was the one of fealty, of loyalty to one's lord.’
      • ‘In 920 Edmund had accepted Raegnald's fealty and thus acknowledged his status.’
      • ‘Llwelyn was forced into a humiliating surrender that included relinquishing control over the eastern part of his territory and an acknowledgment of fealty paid to Edward I annually.’
      allegiance, faithfulness, fidelity, obedience, adherence, homage, devotion, bond
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French feau(l)te, fealte, from Latin fidelitas (see fidelity).