Serv"i*tude (?), n. [L. servitudo: cf. F. servitude.]

1.

The state of voluntary or compulsory subjection to a master; the condition of being bound to service; the condition of a slave; slavery; bondage; hence, a state of slavish dependence.

You would have sold your king to slaughter,
His princes and his peers to servitude.
Shak.

A splendid servitude; . . . for he that rises up early, and goe to bed late, only to receive addresses, is really as much abridged in his freedom as he that waits to present one.
South.

2.

Servants, collectively.

[Obs.]

After him a cumbrous train
Of herds and flocks, and numerous servitude.
Milton.

3. Law

A right whereby one thing is subject to another thing or person for use or convenience, contrary to the common right.

The object of a servitude is either to suffer something to be done by another, or to omit to do something, with respect to a thing. The easements of the English correspond in some respects with the servitudes of the Roman law. Both terms are used by common law writers, and often indiscriminately. The former, however, rather indicates the right enjoyed, and the latter the burden imposed.

Ayliffe. Erskine. E. Washburn.

Penal servitude. See under Penal. -- Personal servitude Law, that which arises when the use of a thing is granted as a real right to a particular individual other than the proprietor. -- Predial servitude Law, that which one estate owes to another estate. When it related to lands, vineyards, gardens, or the like, it is called rural; when it related to houses and buildings, it is called urban.

© Webster 1913.

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