follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

corvée

[kawr-vey] /kɔrˈveɪ/
noun
1.
unpaid labor for one day, as on the repair of roads, exacted by a feudal lord.
2.
an obligation imposed on inhabitants of a district to perform services, as repair of roads, bridges, etc., for little or no remuneration.
Origin
1300-1350
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for corvee
  • Poor villagers in rural regions were often required to provide corvee labor on demand as a tax imposed by authorities.
British Dictionary definitions for corvee

corvée

/ˈkɔːveɪ/
noun
1.
(European history) a day's unpaid labour owed by a feudal vassal to his lord
2.
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for corvee
n.

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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for corvee

unpaid work on public projects that is required by law. Under the Roman Empire, certain classes of the population owed personal services to the state or to private proprietors-for example, labour in lieu of taxes for the upkeep of roads, bridges, and dikes; unpaid labour by coloni (tenant farmers) and freedmen on the estates of landed proprietors; and labour requisitioned for the maintenance of the postal systems of various regions. The feudal system of corvee-regular work that vassals owed their lord-developed from this Roman tradition. (The term corvee, meaning contribution, is now often used synonymously with statute labour.)

Learn more about corvee with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for corvée

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for corvee

11
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for corvee