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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Seneschal \Sen"es*chal\, n. [OF. seneschal, LL. seniscalcus, of Teutonic origin; cf. Goth. sineigs old, skalks, OHG. scalch, AS. scealc. Cf. Senior, Marshal.] An officer in the houses of princes and dignitaries, in the Middle Ages, who had the superintendence of feasts and domestic ceremonies; a steward. Sometimes the seneschal had the dispensing of justice, and was given high military commands.

Then marshaled feast Served up in hall with sewers and seneschale.

Philip Augustus, by a famous ordinance in 1190, first established royal courts of justice, held by the officers called baitiffs, or seneschals, who acted as the king's lieutenants in his demains.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "steward, majordomo, officer in a royal household in charge of ceremonies and feasts," from Old French seneschal, title of a high administrative court officer, from Frankish Latin siniscalcus, from Proto-Germanic *sini-skalk "senior servant;" first element cognate with Latin senex "old" (see senile); second element from Proto-Germanic *skalkoz "servant" (cognates: Gothic skalks, Old High German scalc, Old English scealc "servant;" see second element of marshal).


n. A steward in charge of a medieval nobleman's estate.


n. the chief steward or butler of a great household [syn: major-domo]


A seneschal was an administrative officer in the houses of important nobles in the Middle Ages and early Modern period, equivalent to a steward or stolnik. In a medieval noble household a seneschal was in charge of domestic arrangements and the administration of servants. In the French administrative system of the Middle Ages, the seneschal was also a royal officer in charge of justice and control of the administration in southern provinces, equivalent to the northern French bailiff ().

Usage examples of "seneschal".

The Seneschal was quickly at his shoulder with a flaring torch as Prince Rupert entered the Armoury of the Forest Kings.

StarDrifter paid more attention to this part of the Song than he had the previous verses, describing in detail both what the Icarii had lost and how they had been unable to counter both the wicked lies of the Seneschal and the axes of the Groundwalkers who rallied to the Brotherhood.

Beloved of her foster-child, she had become perpetually installed at Court, married to a wealthy Moor named Cabane, who was raised to the dignity of Grand Seneschal of the kingdom, whereby the sometime washerwoman found herself elevated to the rank of one of the first ladies of Naples.

Lord Levan and Lord Atrovel both made token protests, which the Seneschal dismissed, as they obviously expected him to.

Axis knew that RavenCrest was also deeply resentful that his heir was not only of Icarii-human parentage, but also a former BattleAxe of the loathed Seneschal.

Once God and his mate had been seated the nobility straightened up and stepped for ward, one at a time as the seneschal called their names, to genuflect and kiss the ring that Osie wore.

I had found a new seneschal for Claymorgan, but Pelles was impossible to replace.

Princess Arianne was waiting in the outer ward to greet her father, with half the court about her: the old blind seneschal Ricasso, Ser Manfrey Martell the castellan, young Maester Myles with his grey robes and silky perfumed beard, twoscore of Dornish knights in flowing linen of half a hundred hues.

Instead, Hotah delivered her to the Spear Tower, and the custody of her fathers seneschal Ricasso and Ser Manfrey Martell, the castellan.

The end of it was that the king decided to form his own opinion about the matter and settle nothing beforehand, and continued this route, sending the ambassadors back to the pope, with the addition of the Marechal de Gie, the Seneschal de Beaucaire, and Jean de Gannay, first president of the Paris Parliament.

Northumbrian Borderer stock, Sir Geoffrey Musgrave, of a cadet branch of that powerful family, had served the House of Whyffler for the most of his sixty-odd years, though in present days he served in the same capacitythat of seneschal and intendens of both seat and landsthe Baron of Strathtyne, who also was Earl of Rutland, Markgraf von Velegrad, and Duke of Norfolk, Sir Bass Foster, Lord Commander of the Horse for His Royal Majesty, Arthur III Tudor, King of England and Wales.

Seneschal thought it judicious to display do aught to mollify his feelings.

He was aware that one more conference with the ducal seneschals, pantlers and quhairs would be the death of him.

Brother-Leader of the Seneschal, most senior mediator between Artor the Ploughman and the hearts and souls of the Acharites, now Jayme mediated only between his own broken soul and the ghosts of his dreams and ambitions.

Far below the eagle, Jayme, Brother-Leader of the Religious Brotherhood of the Seneschal, most senior mediator between the one god Artor the Ploughman and the hearts and souls of the Acharites, paced across his comfortable chamber in the upper reaches of the Tower of the Seneschal.