Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The fidelity owed by a vassal to his feudal lord.
  • n. The oath of such fidelity.
  • n. Faithfulness; allegiance. See Synonyms at fidelity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Fidelity to one's lord; the feudal obligation by which the tenant or vassal was bound to be faithful to his lord; fidelity; allegiance; faithfulness.
  • n. The oath by which this obligation was assumed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Fidelity to one's lord; the feudal obligation by which the tenant or vassal was bound to be faithful to his lord; the special oath by which this obligation was assumed; fidelity to a superior power, or to a government; loyality. It is no longer the practice to exact the performance of fealty, as a feudal obligation.
  • n. Fidelity; constancy; faithfulness, as of a friend to a friend, or of a wife to her husband.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Fidelity. to a lord; faithful adherence of a tenant or vassal to the superior of whom he holds his lands; the solemn recognition by the tenant, under oath, of his lord's paramount right.
  • n. Fidelity in general, as of one friend to another, of a wife to a husband, etc.; faithfulness; faith; loyalty.
  • n. Synonyms Allegiance. Loyalty, Fealty. See allegiance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the loyalty that citizens owe to their country (or subjects to their sovereign)

Etymologies

Middle English fealtye, from Old French fealte, from Latin fidēlitās, faithfulness, from fidēlis, faithful, from fidēs, faith; see bheidh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman fealté, from Latin fidēlitās ("faithfulness") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Pippin swore this to Denethor when he became a knight of Gondor.

    June 9, 2012

  • Man disobeying,
    Disloyal breaks his fealtie, and sinns
    Against the high Supremacie of Heav'n ...

    Milton, Paradise Lost III

    December 18, 2006