You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Old French’ tag.

Someone given land to live on by a lord in return for promising to work or fight for him. Old French “vasal” < Latin “vassallus”=man-servant, retainer. Of Celtic origin, possibly Celtic “*wosto-“=boy, servant.


A ruler or official in India or central Asia. Old French “chan” < Latin “chanis” < Greek “kanis” < Arabic “khan”=lord, prince.

A person who behaves badly, wrongly, or criminally. Middle French “miscreaunt” < Old French “mescreant”=unbelieving, heretical < “mes”=ill, wrongly + “creire”=to believe < Latin “credare”=to believe.

Formidable as an opponent; causing fear or respect. Old French “redoutable” < “redouter”=to fear < “re-“=agian + “douter”=to doubt.

A reason for complaining or being unhappy with a situation. Old French “grevance” < “grever”=to harm.

To become or make narrow. Middle English “streit” < Old French “estreit”=tight, close, narrow < Latin “stringere”=to tighten or bind tightly.

A place of safety that provides protection, especially for people who are in danger. Old French “sanctuaire” < Latin “sanctuarium” < “sanctus”=holy.

A deep wide channel , usually filled with water, dug around a castle as a defense. Old French “mote”=mound, embankment.

A set of moral principles that guides someone’s (or some group’s) behavior. Old French “ethique” < Latin “ethice”=moral philosophy < Greek “ithikos”=moral or showing moral character.

To charge a holder of public office with misconduct. Old French “empecher”=to impede or hinder < Latin “impedicare”=to catch, entangle < “in-“=toward + “pedica”=a fetter, restraint < “ped”=foot.

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