Fe"al*ty (?), n. [OE. faute, OF. faut'e, fealt'e, feel'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.

2.

Fidelity; constancy; faithfulness, as of a friend to a friend, or of a wife to her husband.

He should maintain fealty to God. I. Taylor.

Makes wicked lightnings of her eyes, and saps The fealty of our friends. tennyson.

Swore fealty to the new government. Macaulay.

Fealty is distinguished from homage, which is an acknowledgment of tenure, while fealty implies an oath. See Homage.

Wharton.

Syn. -- Homage; loyality; fidelity; constancy.

 

© Webster 1913.

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