fief

/feef/, n.
1. a fee or feud held of a feudal lord; a tenure of land subject to feudal obligations.
2. a territory held in fee.
3. fiefdom.
[1605-15; < F, var. of OF fieu, fie, c. AF fe FEE < Gmc; cf. OHG fihu, OE feoh cattle, property; akin to L pecu flock of sheep, pecus cattle, pecunia wealth]

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In European feudalism, a vassal's source of income, granted to him by his lord in exchange for his services.

The fief usually consisted of land and the labor of peasants who were bound to cultivate it. The income it provided supported the vassal, who fought for his lord as a knight. Dignities, offices, and money rents were also given in fief.

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      in European feudal society, a vassal's source of income, held from his lord in exchange for services. The fief constituted the central institution of feudal society (see feudalism). It normally consisted of land to which a number of unfree peasants were attached; the land was supposed to be sufficient to support the vassal and to secure his knight service for the lord. Its size varied greatly, according to the income it could provide. It has been calculated that a fief needed from 15 to 30 peasant families to maintain one knightly household. Fief sizes varied widely, ranging from huge estates and whole provinces to a plot of a few acres. Besides land, dignities and offices and money rents were also given in fief.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • fief — fief …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • FIEF — Dans ses premiers emplois connus, le mot fief désigne un bien meuble. Il devient, au plus tard au Xe siècle, l’équivalent, en langue vulgaire, du terme savant « bénéfice », qui signifie faveur, et que l’on utilisait dans les textes latins pour… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • fief — (fièf) s. m. 1°   Terme de féodalité. Domaine noble, relevant du seigneur d un autre domaine, concédé sous condition de foi et hommage et assujetti à certains services et à certaines redevances. •   Les biens réservés pour les leudes furent… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • fief — Fief, ou chose tenuë noblement. Praedium beneficiarium, Clientelaris res, Fundus clientelaris, Praedium clientelare. Bud. Il vient de ce mot Feld, Allemant, qui signifie champ, et non pas de cestuy Latin, Fides, ou Fidelitas, voyez Ban. Fief de… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • fief — FIÉF, fiefuri, s.n. (În evul mediu) Feudă; drept de proprietate asupra unei feude. ♦ fig. Zonă de influenţă absolută sau preponderentă. Fief electoral. – Din fr. fief. Trimis de LauraGellner, 10.05.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  FIÉF s. v. feudă. Trimis… …   Dicționar Român

  • fief — FIEF. s. m. Domaine, noble. On appelle, Fief dominant, Le Domaine dont les autres Fiefs relevent: Et, Fief servant, L heritage que le Vassal tient noblement du Seigneur dont il releve, à la charge de foy & hommage &c. Fief de la Couronne. fief de …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Fief — Fief, n. [F. fief; of German origin, and the same word as E. fee. See {Fee}, and cf. {Feud}, a tief.] (Law) An estate held of a superior on condition of military service; a fee; a feud. See under {Benefice}, n., 2. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fief — fief; fief·dom; sub·fief; …   English syllables

  • fief — also feoff, 1610s, from Fr. fief (12c.) possession, holding, domain, a variant of O.Fr. fieu fee (see FEE (Cf. fee)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • fief — index fee (estate), freehold Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • fief — ► NOUN 1) historical an estate of land held on condition of feudal service. 2) a person s sphere of operation or control. DERIVATIVES fiefdom noun. ORIGIN Old French, variant of feu «fee» …   English terms dictionary

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