- (historical) In the Middle Ages (and chiefly, but not necessarily medieval England), a legal system whereby a tenant would pay a rent or do some agricultural work for the landlord.
1990, John Updike, Rabbit at Rest:
- […] this quiz with all the strange old terms in it, curtilage and messuage and socage and fee simple and fee tail and feoffee and copyhold and customary freehold and mortmain and devises and lex loci rei sitae.
1908, Mary A. M. Marks, “In Saxon Times”, in Landholding in England:
- The rest was held by tenants, sometimes called "sokemen" from the "soke" or jurisdiction; and said to hold in "soccage" because they gave plough-service by way of rent.
medieval form of land tenure
- socage (system whereby a tenant would pay a rent or do some agricultural work for the landlord)