fealty


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

fealty \fe"al*ty\ (f[=e]"al*t[y^]), n. [OE. feaute, OF.
   feaut['e], fealt['e], feelt['e], feelteit, fr. L. fidelitas,
   fr. fidelis faithful. See Feal, and cf. Fidelity.]
   1. 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. --Wharton
      (Law Dict.). --Tomlins.
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   2. Fidelity; constancy; faithfulness, as of a friend to a
      friend, or of a wife to her husband.
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            He should maintain fealty to God.     --I. Taylor.
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            Makes wicked lightnings of her eyes, and saps
            The fealty of our friends.            --tennyson.
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            Swore fealty to the new government.   --Macaulay.
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   Note: Fealty is distinguished from homage, which is an
         acknowledgment of tenure, while fealty implies an oath.
         See Homage. --Wharton.

   Syn: Homage; loyality; fidelity; constancy.
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