(noun) A hierarchical society based on land ownership and protection.

Audio Pronunciation: (feu·dal·ism)

Download Audio Pronunciation: feudalism.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Also called:
    • feudal society
    • feudal system
  • To control an area using feudalism, a (noun) feudalist (verb) feudalizes it using (adjective) feudal or (adjective) feudalistic methods.

Related Terms: 


Works Consulted

Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).


How to Cite the Definition of Feudalism

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “feudalism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 18, 2018 (https://sociologydictionary.org/feudalism/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

feudalism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/feudalism/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “feudalism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 18, 2018. https://sociologydictionary.org/feudalism/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“feudalism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 18 Dec. 2018. <https://sociologydictionary.org/feudalism/>.