Definition of rear vassal in US English:

rear vassal

noun

  • A feudal vassal who holds lands from another vassal, rather than directly from the sovereign.

Origin

Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Thomas Nugent (c1700–1772), writer and traveller. From rear- + vassal [adjective], after French arrière-vassal.

Pronunciation

rear vassal

/ˈrɪə ˌvasl/