Definition of feudatory in US English:



  • Owing feudal allegiance to.

    ‘they had for a long period been feudatory to the Norwegian Crown’
    • ‘With most of these ‘native states’ the British had formal treaties that specified the terms and nature of their power and that directly established a feudatory link with the Crown of England.’
    • ‘The Ikkery Naiks were a line of feudatory chieftains who rose to power after the decline of the mighty Vijayanagar empire following the battle of Thalikkotta in 1565.’
    • ‘Satraps of both the empires assumed power in their own feudatory territories, the most important of the Vijayanagara remnants were the Nayaks of Madurai.’
    • ‘The Nayaks or Nayakkans, as they were also called, were the feudatory governors appointed by the Vijyayanagar rulers to protect their interests in parts of what are now Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.’
    • ‘Peasants attacked landlords and burned tax and feudatory documents, tax collectors were beaten or worse, and lawyers were attacked because of their association with the landed classes.’


  • A person who holds land under the conditions of the feudal system.

    • ‘Hinduism as we know it today - especially the Hinduism of north India - was essentially shaped under Mogul rule, often with the active participation and support of the rulers and their officials and feudatories.’
    • ‘They were the feudatories of the prominent dynasties of Karnataka.’
    • ‘Till then the Wadiyars were the feudatories of the emperors of Vijayanagar.’
    • ‘Nobili used his political persona to obtain from Tirumalai Nayak permission to convert in exchange for Nobili bringing the Portuguese from Goa to help him to subdue a rebellious feudatory.’
    • ‘Property division and the redemption of feudal fees aroused numerous disputes between feudatories and comuni, requiring a lengthy examination of titles and deeds.’
    • ‘Raja Mansingh's successor raja Vikramaditya, who was a feudatory of Lodis since 1519, was also in Agra.’


Late 16th century: from medieval Latin feudatorius, from feudare ‘enfeoff’, from feudum (see fee).