See also: liège, Liege, and Liège




From Middle English liege, lege, lige, from Anglo-Norman lige, from Old French liege ‎(liege, free), from Middle High German ledic, ledec ‎(free, empty, vacant) (Modern German ledig ‎(unmarried)) from Proto-Germanic *liþugaz ‎(flexible, free, unoccupied). Akin to Old Frisian leþeg, leþoch ‎(free), Old English liþiġ ‎(flexible), Old Norse liðugr ‎(free, unhindered), Old Saxon lethig ‎(idle), Low German leddig ‎(empty), Middle Dutch ledich ‎(idle, unemployed) (Dutch ledig ‎(empty) and leeg ‎(empty)), Middle English lethi ‎(unoccupied, at leisure).

An alternate etymology traces the Old French word from Late Latin laeticus "of or relating to a semifree colonist in Gaul" from laetus "a semi-free colonist", of Germanic origin, akin to Old English læt ‎(servant).



liege ‎(plural lieges)

  1. A free and independent person; specifically, a lord paramount; a sovereign.
  2. The subject of a sovereign or lord; a liegeman.



liege ‎(not comparable)

  1. Sovereign; independent; having authority or right to allegiance.
    a liege lord
    • Tennyson:
      She looked as grand as doomsday and as grave; / And he, he reverenced his liege lady there.
  2. Serving an independent sovereign or master; bound by a feudal tenure; obliged to be faithful and loyal to a superior, such as a vassal to his lord; faithful
    a liege man; a liege subject
  3. (obsolete, law) Full; perfect; complete; pure.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Burrill to this entry?)


Related termsEdit





  1. First-person singular indicative present form of liegen.
  2. First-person singular subjunctive present form of liegen.
  3. Third-person singular subjunctive present form of liegen.