What does suzerain mean?

Definitions for suzerain
ˈsu zə rɪn, -ˌreɪnsuzerain

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word suzerain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. suzerainnoun

    a state exercising a degree of dominion over a dependent state especially in its foreign affairs


  1. suzerainnoun

    A dominant nation or state which has control over the international affairs of a subservient state which has domestic autonomy.

  2. suzerainnoun

    A feudal land-owner to whom peasants were forced to pledge allegiance.

  3. suzerainadjective

    Pertaining to suzerain


  1. suzerain

    Suzerainty () is the rights and obligations of a person, state or other polity who controls the foreign policy and relations of a tributary state, while allowing the tributary state to have internal autonomy. While the subordinate party is called a vassal, vassal state or tributary state, the dominant party is called a suzerain. While the rights and obligations of a vassal are called vassalage, the rights and obligations of a suzerain are called suzerainty. Suzerainty differs from sovereignty in that the dominant power allows tributary states to be technically independent, but enjoy only limited self-rule. Although the situation has existed in a number of historical empires, it is considered difficult to reconcile with 20th- or 21st-century concepts of international law, in which sovereignty is a binary concept, which either exists or does not. While a sovereign state can agree by treaty to become a protectorate of a stronger power, modern international law does not recognise any way of making this relationship compulsory on the weaker power. Suzerainty is a practical, de facto situation, rather than a legal, de jure one.


  1. suzerain

    A suzerain is a nation or a ruler that has control or sovereign power over another nation or state while still allowing that state to maintain internal autonomy. The state or nation under the control of the suzerain is known as a vassal. Suzerainty was common in feudal relationships as well as in international relations in history.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Suzerainnoun

    a superior lord, to whom fealty is due; a feudal lord; a lord paramount

  2. Etymology: [F., formed fr. sus above, L. susum, sursum (fr. sub under + versum, p. p. of vertere to turn), after the analogy of souverain, E. sovereign. See Sub-, and Verse.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Suzerain

    sū′ze-rān, n. a feudal lord: supreme or paramount ruler.—n. Sū′zerainty, the dominion of a suzerain: paramount authority. [O. Fr.,—sus—Late L. susum, for sursum=sub-versum, above; the termination in imitation of Fr. souverain, Eng. sovereign.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce suzerain?

How to say suzerain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of suzerain in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of suzerain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for suzerain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for suzerain »


Find a translation for the suzerain definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"suzerain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/suzerain>.

Discuss these suzerain definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for suzerain? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    easily diffused or spread as from one person to another
    A foreordained
    B contagious
    C appellative
    D eminent

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for suzerain: