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[feef] /fif/
a fee or feud held of a feudal lord; a tenure of land subject to feudal obligations.
a territory held in fee.
1605-15; < French, variant of Old French fieu, fie, cognate with Anglo-French fe fee < Germanic; compare Old High German fihu, Old English feoh cattle, property; akin to Latin pecū flock of sheep, pecus cattle, pecūnia wealth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fief
  • For many years he has run his company as though it were a personal fief financed with shareholder money.
  • He decorated his fief with roads and health centres named after himself.
  • Each of these princes has his own fief with an extensive network of power and patronage.
  • The evil dictator dead, now his former fief flounders.
British Dictionary definitions for fief


(in feudal Europe) the property or fee granted to a vassal for his maintenance by his lord in return for service
Word Origin
C17: from Old French fie, of Germanic origin; compare Old English fēo cattle, money, Latin pecus cattle, pecūnia money, Greek pokos fleece
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 fief

also feoff, 1610s, from French fief (12c.) "possession, holding, domain," a variant of Old French fieu "fee" (see fee).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fief in Culture
fief [(feef)]

Under feudalism, a landed estate given by a lord to a vassal in return for the vassal's service to the lord. The vassal could use the fief as long as he remained loyal to the lord.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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