Definition of appanage in US English:


(also apanage)


  • 1A gift of land, an official position, or money given to the younger children of kings and princes to provide for their maintenance.

    • ‘The West Saxon kings used Kent as a sort of appanage to be ruled as subkingdoms by West Saxon princes.’
    • ‘Against repeated rebellions he maintained the integrity of his mother's appanage of Aquitaine.’
    • ‘When in 1254 he created an apanage for his eldest son, Edward, two of its principal components were the lordship of Ireland and the earldom of Chester, within which was comprised several Welsh lordships.’
    nurture, feeding, life support
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A necessary accompaniment.
      ‘there is a tendency to make microbiology an appanage of organic chemistry’


Early 17th century: from French, based on medieval Latin appanare ‘provide with the means of subsistence’, from ad- ‘to’ + panis ‘bread’.