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[sur-vi-tood, -tyood] /ˈsɜr vɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
slavery or bondage of any kind:
political or intellectual servitude.
compulsory service or labor as a punishment for criminals:
penal servitude.
Law. a right possessed by one person to use another's property.
Origin of servitude
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Late Latin servitūdō, equivalent to servi-, combining form of servus slave + -tūdō, -tude
1. serfdom, thralldom. See slavery.
1. liberty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for servitude
  • Liberation from indentured servitude is an entirely worthy objective.
  • Indentured servitude developed as a way around this.
  • After a few successful years, the fighters were often released from servitude to their troupes.
  • Hence, they are more likely to fall into servitude if they owe money to employers or landlords.
  • The people pay the ultimate price through harsh structural adjustment policies and endless debt servitude.
  • They remain bonded to employers under terms that critics liken to indentured servitude.
  • They are born into servitude and can be bought, sold, given away or inherited.
  • Bosses, of course, can get rich on this kind of indentured servitude.
  • Put another way: roadkill on humanity's path to copyright servitude and restricted knowledge.
  • Indeed, formal complaints about involuntary servitude are relatively rare.
British Dictionary definitions for servitude


the state or condition of a slave; bondage
the state or condition of being subjected to or dominated by a person or thing: servitude to drink
(law) a burden attaching to an estate for the benefit of an adjoining estate or of some definite person See also easement
short for penal servitude
Word Origin
C15: via Old French from Latin servitūdō, from servus a slave
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
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Word Origin and History for servitude

early 15c., "condition of being enslaved," from Old French servitude, servitute (13c.) and directly from Late Latin servitudo "slavery," from Latin servus "a slave" (see serve (v.)) + abstract noun suffix.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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