Definition of droit de seigneur in English:

droit de seigneur


  • The alleged right of a medieval feudal lord to have sexual intercourse with a vassal's bride on her wedding night.

    • ‘This seems somewhat churlish: what is the point of having an knighthood if you can't exercise the ancient rights that this charming custom affords - such as droit de seigneur and queue-jumping in swanky restaurants.’
    • ‘The count plots to exercise his droit de seigneur, the right of titled men to deflower the brides of lesser folk.’
    • ‘Regret about the abolition of droit de seigneur and the right of feudal overlords to flog peasants may be comic, but it is hardly an interesting political philosophy.’


French, literally ‘lord's right’.


droit de seigneur

/ˌdroi də sānˈyər/