What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[pee-uh-nij] /ˈpi ə nɪdʒ/
the condition or service of a peon.
the practice of holding persons in servitude or partial slavery, as to work off a debt or to serve a penal sentence.
Origin of peonage
1840-50, Americanism; peon1 + -age Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for peonage
  • Whether all or some of the peonage investigators were called special agents is not known.
  • peonage is a condition of involuntary servitude imposed to extract repayment of an indebtedness.
  • Has the primary enforcement responsibility for the involuntary servitude and peonage statutes.
British Dictionary definitions for peonage


the state of being a peon
a system in which a debtor must work for his creditor until the debt is paid off
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 peonage

1848, American English, from peon + -age.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
peonage in Culture
peonage [(pee-uh-nij)]

A system of forced labor based on debts incurred by workers. Peonage developed particularly in plantation economies, where employers forced laborers to buy from employer-owned stores, pay inflated prices, and stay in debt.

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for peonage

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for peonage

Scrabble Words With Friends