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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Citizenship, Government
vassalvas‧sal /ˈvæsəl/ noun [countable]  1 PGCa man in the Middle Ages who was given land to live on by a lord in return for promising to work or fight for him2 formalPG a country that is controlled by another country a vassal state
Examples from the Corpus
vassalHe was a vassal, as indeed his father had been forty years earlier.The whistle was lord; they were all vassals.Why are employees treated as vassals by the pension funds?Theoretically they should follow the lead of the Warbutt if he commands them; they are his vassals.But they too posed a threat, for there were few of his vassals whom he could trust.Since he was already a papal vassal Sancho found the powers of the Church difficult to check.If his creditors allowed him to be, he would be their vassal for life.Yet even with vassals of the same class, there might be differences.
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