peonage

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From peon +‎ -age.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

peonage (plural peonages)

  1. The state of being a peon; the system of paying back debt through servitude and labour; loosely, any system of involuntary servitude.
    • 2010, Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22, Atlantic 2011, p. 217:
      But there was work to be done down in the Salinas Valley where César Chávez was organizing the grape pickers and lettuce workers out of their state of un-unionized peonage.