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a. a state or sovereign exercising some degree of dominion over a dependent state, usually controlling its foreign affairs
b. (as modifier): a suzerain power
a. a feudal overlord
b. (as modifier): suzerain lord



in medieval Western Europe, a superior feudal lord, or seigneur, of a territory (for example, a king, duke, or prince) who is sovereign over the vassals in his domain (seeVASSALAGE). The authority of a suzerain derives from his power to grant fiefs to vassals.

References in periodicals archive ?
Il rapproche a ce propos la terminologie : << le Dieu Souverain >>, empruntee par Wauquelin au roman d'Alexandre en prose francaise, a celle qui lui est identique dans le roman de Perceforest pour en conclure a un voisinage des conceptions attachees au divin : le Dieu Souverain serait dans chacune des proses une sorte de suzerain des dieux traditionnels paiens.
The Supreme Ruler's meta-sovereignty remains despite devolving autonomy to human rulers, like a suzerain allowing a degree of autonomy to a vassal entity.
"Every time the Turks become suzerain of people believing in a different faith, tolerance is presented as a normal relationship between Turks and the others.
The Serbian government might not have been formally represented at the Conference, but through its envoy Mijatovic it made clear that, on this issue at least, it wholly supported the position of the suzerain power.
The Hainan decision empowering its border police to intercept foreign ships sailing in waters claimed by China as its territory, which also overlaps territories in the South China Sea, affronts other claimants because it is seen as condescending and treating them as vassal states of the suzerain province.
His Majesty's Government, while they have formally recognized the suzerain rights of China in Thibet [Tibet], have never recognized, and are not prepared to recognize, the right of China to intervene actively in the internal administration of Thibet [Tibet], which should remain, as contemplated by the treaties, in the hands of the Thibetan [Tibetan] authorities.
(126) Additionally, although Article VII of the 1856 Treaty of Paris expressly recognised the Sultan, (127) the very nature of a suzerainty implies that the suzerain will conduct international affairs on behalf of the vassal State.
For centuries, Seistan had been an autonymous region whose people shared ethnic and cultural links with their larger, southern neighbour, Baluchistan, and recognised its khan as their suzerain. However, with Russia moving into Central Asia during the mid-19th century, the British signed a series of treaties that divided Seistan and Baluchistan among Persia.
The scale of his task was immense, as this was an area characterised by resistance to suzerain authority, with each emirate being fiercely protective of its own identity and individual character.
Among these, the most significant item is the twelfth large tray, which contains a loop and a hook for controlling elephants as symbols of ancient suzerain power.
On pourrait pousser plus loin l'analogie en remarquant que le seigneur lui-meme pouvait etre dans la situation de devoir rendre hommage a plus puissant que lui, a savoir a un suzerain dont il etait le vassal, ce qui constituait en somme un systeme de reassurance.
(57) In 1883, Pedro requested "a significant detachment of troops" to sustain himself, for "knowing that since ancient times Portugal has always been the suzerain" of Congo, and that some 20 years earlier their troops had put him on the throne.