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From Old French vavasour, from Medieval Latin vavassor, perhaps from vassus vassorum (vassal of vassals).



vavasour (plural vavasours)

  1. (historical) a subvassal; someone holding their lands from a vassal of the crown rather than from the crown directly
    • Late 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
      A shirreve hadde he been, and a contour. / Was nowher swich a worthy vavasour.
    • 1989, Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III, The Doll’s House, The Sandman issue 10
      “Fiddler’s Green is missing? That is passing strange, Lucien. He is, after all, vavasour of his own dominion. And always so… reliable.”

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


Medieval Latin vavassor


vavasour m (oblique plural vavasours, nominative singular vavasours, nominative plural vavasour)

  1. vavasour
    • 12th Century, Béroul, Tristan et Iseut:
      [] Et filz a riches vavasors
      Qui servoient por armes tuit.
      [] And sons with rich subvassals
      Who gave everyone arms.