Definition of servitude in English:



mass noun
  • 1The state of being a slave or completely subject to someone more powerful.

    ‘you've got thousands of years of peasant servitude to make up for’
    • ‘Her status as slave condemns her to a life of servitude, with little or no control over her future.’
    • ‘A freed slave could be returned to servitude for helping a slave escape or for striking a white.’
    • ‘Many of the slaves are seen as passive, enjoying their servitude with a crude, animalistic joy.’
    • ‘The term of servitude in the United States was for life; slaves couldn't buy their freedom.’
    • ‘The only way to do that was to send Martha into servitude!’
    • ‘Tens of millions of human souls were transported from their homes in Africa under appalling conditions to lives of servitude in the Americas.’
    • ‘All that cruelty and bloodshed had produced nothing; the Free State was, according to Ryan, worse than English servitude.’
    • ‘Those born into servitude, however benign and remote the oppression may seem, cannot know fully what it is to be free until the day of liberation actually dawns.’
    • ‘America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.’
    • ‘For $100, for example, you can save a young girl from a life of indentured servitude.’
    • ‘It begins with a grieving boy beside his father's funeral pyre, who is claimed by a worryingly uncouth uncle and taken away to a grim new life of servitude.’
    • ‘It has a price, and that price is arbitrary forced servitude to the state.’
    • ‘Jordan was the first in his family to escape such servitude.’
    • ‘We have all sold our kidneys to pay off a debt so that we can save our families from indentured servitude.’
    • ‘Eventually, the young monk must choose between love and desire and religious servitude.’
    • ‘Those it has aided praise its efforts, saying it saved them from a lifetime of domestic abuse and virtual servitude.’
    • ‘In the millennium before the Communist party revolution, it was an antidote to a life of female servitude.’
    • ‘Domestic servitude has only been escaped by passing it down to another cadre of oppressed women.’
    • ‘Children are the worst victims of bondage and servitude.’
    • ‘The stronger ones would be sold into slavery or servitude.’
    slavery, enslavement, bondage, subjugation, subjection, domination
    View synonyms
  • 2Law
    archaic The subjection of property to an easement.

    ‘Land includes buildings and other structures, land covered with water, and any estate, interest, easement, servitude in or over land.’
    ‘Baronial jurisdiction was abolished, as was personal servitude, but dues and services attached to land tenure remained unless they were redeemed.’


Late Middle English via Old French from Latin servitudo, from servus ‘slave’.