ETYM French fief; of German origin, and the same word as Eng. fee. Related to Fee, Feud, a tief.
A piece of land held under the feudal system; SYN. feoff.
feoff; that which one rules.
Estate of lands granted to a vassal by his lord after the former had sworn homage, or fealty, promising to serve the lord. As a noble tenure, it carried with it rights of jurisdiction.
In the later Middle Ages, it could also refer to a grant of money, given in return for service, as part of bastard feudalism.