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[kawr-vey] /kɔrˈveɪ/
unpaid labor for one day, as on the repair of roads, exacted by a feudal lord.
an obligation imposed on inhabitants of a district to perform services, as repair of roads, bridges, etc., for little or no remuneration.
Origin of corvée
1300-50; Middle English < Middle French < Late Latin corrogāta contribution, collection, noun use of feminine of Latin corrogātus (past participle of corrogāre to collect by asking), equivalent to cor- cor- + rogā(re) to ask + -tus past participle suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for corvee


(European history) a day's unpaid labour owed by a feudal vassal to his lord
the practice or an instance of forced labour
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Late Latin corrogāta contribution, from Latin corrogāre to collect, from rogāre to ask
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for corvee

mid-14c., "day's unpaid labor due to a lord by vassals under French feudal system" (abolished 1776), from Old French corvee (12c.), from Late Latin corrogata (opera) "requested work," from fem. past participle of Latin corrogare, from com- "with" (see com-) + rogare "to ask" (see rogation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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