Definition of servitude in English:



  • 1The state of being a slave or completely subject to someone more powerful.

    ‘you've got thousands of years of peasant servitude to make up for’
    • ‘All that cruelty and bloodshed had produced nothing; the Free State was, according to Ryan, worse than English servitude.’
    • ‘The stronger ones would be sold into slavery or servitude.’
    • ‘Many of the slaves are seen as passive, enjoying their servitude with a crude, animalistic joy.’
    • ‘The term of servitude in the United States was for life; slaves couldn't buy their freedom.’
    • ‘Those born into servitude, however benign and remote the oppression may seem, cannot know fully what it is to be free until the day of liberation actually dawns.’
    • ‘We have all sold our kidneys to pay off a debt so that we can save our families from indentured servitude.’
    • ‘For $100, for example, you can save a young girl from a life of indentured servitude.’
    • ‘Those it has aided praise its efforts, saying it saved them from a lifetime of domestic abuse and virtual servitude.’
    • ‘America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.’
    • ‘A freed slave could be returned to servitude for helping a slave escape or for striking a white.’
    • ‘It has a price, and that price is arbitrary forced servitude to the state.’
    • ‘In the millennium before the Communist party revolution, it was an antidote to a life of female servitude.’
    • ‘Tens of millions of human souls were transported from their homes in Africa under appalling conditions to lives of servitude in the Americas.’
    • ‘The only way to do that was to send Martha into servitude!’
    • ‘Jordan was the first in his family to escape such servitude.’
    • ‘Children are the worst victims of bondage and servitude.’
    • ‘Eventually, the young monk must choose between love and desire and religious servitude.’
    • ‘It begins with a grieving boy beside his father's funeral pyre, who is claimed by a worryingly uncouth uncle and taken away to a grim new life of servitude.’
    • ‘Her status as slave condemns her to a life of servitude, with little or no control over her future.’
    • ‘Domestic servitude has only been escaped by passing it down to another cadre of oppressed women.’
    slavery, enslavement, bondage, subjugation, subjection, domination
    serfdom, vassalage
    View synonyms
  • 2Law
    archaic The subjection of property to an easement.

    • ‘Baronial jurisdiction was abolished, as was personal servitude, but dues and services attached to land tenure remained unless they were redeemed.’
    • ‘Land includes buildings and other structures, land covered with water, and any estate, interest, easement, servitude in or over land.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin servitudo, from servus slave.