Definition of fiefdom in English:



  • 1Law
    historical A fief.

    • ‘The icon refers not to the Transylvanian terror of lore but to the 15th-century feudal lord and mass murderer Vlad the Impaler, whose fiefdom was in Wallachia, a more southern region of Romania.’
    • ‘Taking the two key aspects of feudalism - vassalship and fiefdom - he argues that the National Socialist system of government can be seen in these terms.’
    • ‘According to feudal law, Edward III held Aquitaine as part of his fiefdom.’
    • ‘It was considered best to separate the holy callings of the monk and the nun, vocations close to God, from everyday maintenance in medieval fiefdoms.’
  • 2A territory or sphere of operation controlled by a particular person or group.

    ‘a mafia boss who has turned the town into his private fiefdom’
    • ‘Indeed, by all accounts Tsutsumi ran the public company like a private fiefdom.’
    • ‘One well-developed section is about New York, where newspaper competition was fierce, and innovative editors managed their press fiefdoms with care.’
    • ‘Can the county council cabinet can now treat Wiltshire like some private fiefdom?’
    • ‘In general, factions within the parties control the branches and manoeuvre for control of seats or regions which then become their fiefdoms - new members which they do not control are a threat.’
    • ‘We have handed over governance of this country to the private fiefdoms of the unions, the lawyers and the lobbyists.’
    • ‘From 1964 to 1982, Chairman Charles Swibel - appointed by Daley to the board in 1956 at the young age of 29-ran the CHA as a small fiefdom.’
    • ‘They only wanted to continue to operate their little fiefdom as far from public scrutiny as possible.’
    • ‘Yet like other Nazi agencies, the Labour Front did provide jobs and advancement for ideologically committed workers, and it became one of the fiefdoms which undermined the old state hierarchy.’
    • ‘Before Mitarai took over, Canon had a dozen major divisions that operated like individual fiefdoms, obsessed with building sales numbers at any cost.’
    • ‘Probably the best way to depict the Blair and Brown domains up to the 2001 election is to map the policy fiefdoms, or special interests, where an individual dominance could be discerned, even though such dominance was nowhere absolute.’
    • ‘The intellectual elite often denounce his proclamations as transgressing outside his jurisdictional fiefdom.’
    • ‘Both House and Senate are composed of countless fiefdoms of committees and subcommittees that oversee the Executive Branch.’
    • ‘They have gathered up our democratic powers piece by piece, taking these powers into their own private fiefdoms.’
    • ‘London's financial centre traditionally consists of enclosed, private fiefdoms, while the speculative block usually contains very little social space outside the standard floorplates.’
    • ‘And they just feel, really, there has been one set of laws for people who are running companies and treating them like private fiefdoms and another set of laws for everybody else.’
    • ‘The Bedouin chieftain Zahir al-'Umar, who eventually carved out the equivalent of a fiefdom in northern Palestine, had gone to Damascus briefly as a youth and received some instruction there.’
    • ‘Bad loans were ballooning, costs were skyrocketing, and warring fiefdoms from its three merged banks were resisting change.’
    • ‘But with old rivalries running deep and half the country still carved into de facto fiefdoms, it isn't easy to divvy up power, government posts and mineral spoils.’
    • ‘We recognized early on that it's easy to wind up with a lot of independent fiefdoms that run and operate without very much leveraging of one another's resources.’
    • ‘As a result of this beguiling pluralism, various movements openly jostled for state recognition, critics voraciously debated the most appropriate styles, and party officials established their own cultural fiefdoms.’