Definition of socage in English:


(also soccage)


  • [mass noun] A feudal tenure of land involving payment of rent or other non-military service to a superior.

    • ‘Nor shall we have wardship of that fee-farm, socage, or burgage, unless the fee-farm owes knight's service.’
    • ‘The lands in Atterton were held of the king, as of the honor of Leicester, in free socage, by suit of court and a rent of 3s. 4d., and worth 2s.’
    • ‘These three Manors did not come into the possession of the Audleys until early in the 12 th century when they were held by socage, i.e. military service, from the De Verdun family.’
    • ‘The money paid in lieu of socage service, which ought to be applied to the wants of the province in which the socage is due, is forwarded to Manila.’
    • ‘Lower down the social scale, socage tenure (sometimes known as free socage) was common.’


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French, from soc, variant of soke.