To see details on the word
please enable javascript.

Go to New Version of This Page
This old version has not been updated since 2016,
but we're leaving it in case you prefer it.
Show What's New
Please update your links from the new version.

"Yes, my squalid little serf," I said, and fluttered my hands in royal dispensation.
Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  Middle Ages Europe:  a person who is bound to the land and owned with the land by the feudal lord
 Mark word for later review on this computer
serf serfdom
Web Links:
(try right-click if popups are disabled)
Dictionary -®
Dictionary/Synonyms - Google®
Dictionary List - OneLook®
Wikipedia Article
  • "Yes, my squalid little serf," I said, and fluttered my hands in royal dispensation.
    Gillian Flynn  --  Gone Girl
  • Then came a cart, and behind that walked an old, bandy-legged domestic serf in a peaked cap and sheepskin coat.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • The serf wore the customary garb of serving-men at that period, and long before, in the old hereditary halls of England.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • I am done with the monster of "We," the word of serfdom, of plunder, of misery, falsehood and shame.
    Ayn Rand  --  Anthem

  • Show more
  • A serf!
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • You know, if you just want an office serf you can get one from the temp agency.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Akhilleus tells of the wretched life of the dead-better to be the meanest serf on earth than a prince in the world below.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • I had a serf, Filka; just after his burial I called out forgetting ’Filka, my pipe!’
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  Crime and Punishment
  • Yours serfdom, awe and humbleness: ours thunder and the seas.
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • He had begun to set a value on heads, shoulders and arms—their owners’ value, even if the owner was a serf.
    T. H. White  --  The Once and Future King

  • Show more again
  • Once one has owned land, there is no going back to being a serf.
    Betty Smith  --  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • The old serf laughed.
    John Gardner  --  Grendel
  • JOCASTA A serf, the sole survivor who returned.
    Sophocles  --  Oedipus the King
  • In the feudal society of the Middle Ages, it was between feudal lord and serf; later on, between aristocrat and citizen.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • The drawers he wore were baggy and dirty and he did indeed look like some sad and ill used serf or worse.
    Cormac McCarthy  --  All the Pretty Horses
  • They had cut the whole of the big meadow, which had, in the years of serf labor, taken thirty scythes two days to mow.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • On ordinary days a serf-boy used to keep driving them away with a large green branch; but on this occasion Vassily Ivanovitch had sent him away through dread of the criticism of the younger generation.
    Ivan Turgenev  --  Fathers and Sons
  • It was in the darkest days of serfdom at the beginning of the century, and long live the Liberator of the People!
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • If Europe ever becomes a grand council of free nations,—as I trust in God it will,—if, there, serfdom, and all unjust and oppressive social inequalities, are done away; and if they, as France and England have done, acknowledge our position,—then, in the great congress of nations, we will make our appeal, and present the cause of our enslaved and suffering race; and it cannot be that free, enlightened America will not then desire to wipe from her escutcheon that bar sinister which…
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • At first he’d been a little standoffish—as if he were a lord and I were a serf, Jones thought—until he’d seen how the skipper treated him.
    Tom Clancy  --  The Hunt for Red October
  • They knew the stories of abandoned trains, of the crews that vanished in sudden bursts of rebellion against serfdom.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • So when his son said, "We could live in the great house," the thought leaped into his mind as though he saw it actually before his eyes, "I could sit on that seat where that old one sat and from whence she bade me stand like a serf, and now I could sit there and so call another into my presence."
    Pearl S. Buck  --  The Good Earth
  • He stood towards the myth upon which no individual mind had ever drawn out a line of beauty and to its unwieldy tales that divided against themselves as they moved down the cycles in the same attitude as towards the Roman catholic religion, the attitude of a dull-witted loyal serf.
    James Joyce  --  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • He must bring nothing outside; we will go in—in among the dirt, and possibly other repulsive things,—and take the food with the household, and after the fashion of the house, and all on equal terms, except the man be of the serf class; and finally, there will be no ewer and no napkin, whether he be serf or free.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
  • The disappointment and impatience of the Negroes at the persistence of slavery and serfdom voiced itself in two movements.
    W. E. B. Du Bois  --  The Souls of Black Folk
  • The Templar, a serf in all but the name, can possess neither lands nor goods, and lives, moves, and breathes, but at the will and pleasure of another.
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • My father was the serf of your grandfather and your own father, but you—you more than anybody else—did so much for me once upon a time that I’ve forgotten everything and love you as if you belonged to my family …. and even more.
    Anton Chekhov  --  The Cherry Orchard
  • At first he was called only Grigoriy, and was some gentleman’s serf; he commenced calling himself Petrovitch from the time when he received his free papers, and further began to drink heavily on all holidays, at first on the great ones, and then on all church festivities without discrimination, wherever a cross stood in the calendar.
    Nikolai Gogol  --  The Overcoat
  • The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty bourgeois, under the yoke of feudal absolutism, managed to develop into a bourgeois.
    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels  --  The Communist Manifesto
  • …and in my harassed inability to keep up, it was like a double-quick-time stamping or dancing; angry grim waltz in which the clutched partners were out to wear one another down; or solo clog or tarantella of the hopping mad; or the limper sway of the almost gone from consciousness; the decorous sevillanas of the stiff whose faces didn’t betray how their heels were slamming; the epidemic kick of German serfdom; the squatting kazatsky; the hesitation-step of adolescence; the Charleston.
    Saul Bellow  --  The Adventures of Augie March
  • She was a serf, but had received a European education.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Idiot
  • The rapier stars glinted upon his serfdom: dawn reddened on release.
    Thomas Wolfe  --  Look Homeward, Angel
  • By the end of a summer day a Morrisonville woman had toiled like a serf.
    Russell Baker  --  Growing Up
  • Whatever it was called-feudalism and serfdom or capitalism and industrial workers, it was unnatural and unjust.
    Boris Pasternak  --  Doctor Zhivago
  • Pressed us to her with the serf’ ous way she read, to shove us away at just the moment, like dimwits, we seemed about to understand.
    Alice Walker  --  Everyday Use
  • The change in her, the growing old, the revelation and responsibility of serf, as a woman, made this experience appear to have extended over months.
    Zane Grey  --  The Border Legion
  • It is scarcely less difficult for them to conceive it, than for us to form a correct notion of what a slave was amongst the Romans, or a serf in the Middle Ages.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 2
  • In fact, it might actually be a peasant top from all the way back when peasant tops first made an appearance in serf-free society, way back in the days of Haight-Ashbury!
    Meg Cabot  --  Queen of Babble
  • His health being drunk with acclamations, he was not so baronial after all but that in trying to return thanks he broke down, in the manner of a mere serf with a heart in his breast, and wept before them all.
    Charles Dickens  --  Little Dorrit
  • I was swinging along with a sweet sword knocking against my thigh and a much sweeter girl matching my strides and a slave-serf-groom-something sweating along behind us, doing the carrying and being our "eyes-behind."
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • As the noble never suspected that anyone would attempt to deprive him of the privileges which he believed to be legitimate, and as the serf looked upon his own inferiority as a consequence of the immutable order of nature, it is easy to imagine that a mutual exchange of good-will took place between two classes so differently gifted by fate.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 1
  • Serf!
    Nikolai Gogol  --  The Nose
  • One day a serf-boy, a little child of eight, threw a stone in play and hurt the paw of the general’s favorite hound.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • So the decade flew away, the revolution of 1876 came, and left the half-free serf weary, wondering, but still inspired.
    W. E. B. Du Bois  --  The Souls of Black Folk
  • It’s simple lust of power, of filthy earthly gain, of domination—something like a universal serfdom with them as masters—that’s all they stand for.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • "As for your dislike of it, excuse my saying so, that’s simply our Russian sloth and old serf-owner’s ways, and I’m convinced that in you it’s a temporary error and will pass."
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • On the one hand, the chief steward put the state of things to him in the very worst light, pointing out the necessity of paying off the debts and undertaking new activities with serf labor, to which Pierre did not agree.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • The holocaust of war, the terrors of the Ku-Klux Klan, the lies of carpet-baggers, the disorganization of industry, and the contradictory advice of friends and foes, left the bewildered serf with no new watchword beyond the old cry for freedom.
    W. E. B. Du Bois  --  The Souls of Black Folk
  • He despised the nobility, and believed the mass of the nobility to be secretly in favor of serfdom, and only concealing their views from cowardice.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  Anna Karenina
  • All our eminent socialists are merely old liberals of the class of landed proprietors, men who were liberals in the days of serfdom.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Idiot
Search for samples from other sources:
(try right-click if popups are disabled)
Interest -- Source
General -- Google News®
General -- Time® Magazine
General -- Twitter®
Associated words [difficulty]:   serf [6] , vassal [4] , liege [6] , feudalism [7]
     If popups are enabled: Search in OneLook®   If Flash® is also enabled: Search in Visuwords®
Most commonly used in these subjects:   History, Business, Public Policy & Politics
Home . . . enhancing vocabulary while reading