Definition of villeinage in US English:



  • The tenure or status of a villein.

    • ‘So long as villeinage had importance, the courts reinforced status by requiring some labour services over and above that fixed by custom and practice.’
    • ‘In particular, they rejected villeinage - the condition of hereditary unfreedom - which bore down on them in a variety of ways.’
    • ‘Rents had been low, too, on peasants' customary holdings; labour services had been commuted, and servile villeinage had virtually disappeared by 1485.’
    • ‘The villeins had not won their freedom this time but had changed history and themselves forever, and within 50 years villeinage had disappeared from England forever.’