Definitions for corvéekɔrˈveɪ

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word corvée

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. unpaid labor for one day, as on the repair of roads, exacted by a feudal lord.

    Category: Government

  2. an obligation imposed on inhabitants of a district to perform services, as repair of roads, for little or no pay.

    Category: Government

Origin of corvée:

1300–50; ME < MF < LL corrogāta contribution, collection, n. use of fem. of L corrogātus, ptp. of corrogāre to collect by asking

Princeton's WordNet

  1. corvee(noun)

    unpaid labor (as for the maintenance of roads) required by a lord of his vassals in lieu of taxes


  1. corvee(Noun)

    unpaid labor (especially on roads) due to a feudal lord

  2. corvee(Noun)

    labor, especially on roads, in lieu of taxes

  3. Origin: From corvée, from corrogata, based on corrogare.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Corvee(noun)

    an obligation to perform certain services, as the repair of roads, for the lord or sovereign


  1. Corvée

    Corvée is unfree labour, often unpaid, that is required of people of lower social standing and imposed on them by the state or by a superior. The corvée was the earliest and most widespread form of taxation, which can be traced back to the beginning of civilization. It was state-imposed forced labour on peasants too poor to pay other forms of taxation. The corvée also existed towards feudal superiors, and was sometimes levied anyway even on persons with cash resources. The corvée differs from chattel slavery in that the worker is not owned outright – being free in various respects other than in the dispensation of his or her labour – and the work is usually intermittent; typically only a certain number of days' or months' work is required each year. It is a form of unfree labour where the worker is not, or not fully, compensated. Unlike other forms of levy, such as a tithe, the corvée does not require the population to have land, crops or cash and thus it tends to be favored in economies where money is in short supply. Corvée is thus most often found in economies where barter is the usual method of trade, or in subsistence economies.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Corvée

    obligation as at one time enforced in France to render certain services to Seigneurs, such as repairing of roads, abolished by the Contituent Assembly.

Translations for corvée

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


hard or boring work

It was a real fag to clean the whole house.

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