in fief

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English[edit]

Adverb[edit]

in fief (not comparable)

  1. (historical) As a heritable right, according to the prevailing feudal obligations.
    • 1819, Abraham Rees, The Cyclopædia, vol. 34, p. 11:
      In some cases, sovereignties have been given in fief, and sovereigns have voluntarily rendered themselves feudatories to others […].
    • 1998, Constance Brittain Bouchard, Strong of Body, Brave and Noble, p. 42:
      William the Conqueror's insistence that the men who accompanied him from Normandy hold their English lands from him in fief was an innovation, not the simple importation of an established French "feudal system."
    • 2011, Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms, Penguin 2012, p. 106:
      Sometimes the duchy was granted in fief, sometimes held by the king in person.