servitude, slavery, bondage agree in meaning the state of subjection to a master.
Servitude may refer to the state of a person, or of a class of persons, or of a race that is bound to obey the will of a master, a lord, or a sovereign, and lacks the freedom to determine his or their own acts, laws, and conditions of living. The term is often vague or rhetorical, sometimes implying lack of political freedom, sometimes lack of liberty to do as one pleases

I am as free as Nature first made man, ere the base laws of servitude began, when wild in woods the noble savage ran— Dryden

More specifically servitude denotes the condition of one who must give service to a master and perform labor for him, whether he has bound himself (see BOUND adj) voluntarily or is a convict sentenced to penal servitude or a slave. Slavery implies subjection to a master who is the owner of one's person or who may treat one as his property

taken by the insolent foe and sold to slavery—Shak.

or entire loss of personal freedom and subjugation to another

is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?— Henry

Bondage applies to the state of one bound as a serf to the soil and sold with the land when conveyed to a new owner; it can apply also to a state of subjection from which there is no hope of escape except by breaking one's chains

what more oft, in nations grown corrupt, and by their vices brought to servitude, than to love bondage more than liberty— Miltony}}


New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • servitude — [ sɛrvityd ] n. f. • fin XIIe; bas lat. servitudo 1 ♦ Vx Esclavage; servage. ♢ (XVe) Mod. État de dépendance totale d une personne ou d une nation soumise à une autre. ⇒ asservissement, soumission, sujétion. La servitude dans laquelle les femmes… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • servitude — ser·vi·tude / sər və ˌtüd, ˌtyüd/ n 1: a condition in which an individual lacks liberty esp. to determine his or her course of action or way of life; specif: the state of being a slave involuntary servitude see also amendment xiii and amendment… …   Law dictionary

  • servitude — Servitude. s. f. Servage, esclavage, estat de celuy qui est serf. Mettre en servitude. le joug de la servitude. delivrer, tirer de servitude. sortir de servitude. Il signifie aussi, L engagement de celuy ou de celle qui sert en qualité de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Servitude — Serv i*tude, n. [L. servitudo: cf. F. servitude.] 1. The state of voluntary or compulsory subjection to a master; the condition of being bound to service; the condition of a slave; slavery; bondage; hence, a state of slavish dependence. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Servitude — may refer to:* Service * Conscription * Employment * Slavery * Indentured servitude * Involuntary servitude * Penal servitude * Servitude (BDSM) * Equitable servitude, a term of real estate law * Servitude in civil law …   Wikipedia

  • servitude — ou subjection de ceux qui sont serfs à quelque seigneur, Seruitus, vel Seruitudo. Champs ou maisons qui doibvent servitude, et sont chargez comme de recevoir les esgous, ou autres choses semblables, Serua domus, Serua praedia. Delivrer de… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • servitude — late 15c., condition of being enslaved, from M.Fr. servitude, from L.L. servitudo slavery, from L. servus a slave (see SERVE (Cf. serve)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • servitude — [sʉr′və to͞od΄, sʉr′vətyo͞od΄] n. [ME < MFr < L servitudo < servus, slave: see SERF] 1. the condition of a slave, serf, or the like; subjection to a master; slavery or bondage 2. work imposed as punishment for crime 3. Law the burden… …   English World dictionary

  • servitude — s. f. Servidão …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • servitude — [n] slavery bondage, bonds, chains, confinement, enslavement, obedience, peonage, serfdom, serfhood, subjection, subjugation, thrall, thralldom, vassalage, yoke; concepts 388,410 Ant. mastery …   New thesaurus

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