Definition of socage in US English:


(also soccage)


  • A feudal tenure of land involving payment of rent or other nonmilitary service to a superior.

    • ‘Lower down the social scale, socage tenure (sometimes known as free socage) was common.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Nor shall we have wardship of that fee-farm, socage, or burgage, unless the fee-farm owes knight's service.’


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