droit (n.)

"a right, a legal claim to one's due," mid-15c., from Old French droit, dreit "right," from Medieval Latin directum (contracted drictum) "right, justice, law," neuter or accusative of Latin directus "straight," past participle of dirigere "set straight" (see direct (v.)).


Droit du seigneur (1825)), from French (1784), was the alleged medieval custom giving a feudal lord the right to have sex with the bride of his vassal on their wedding night before she went to her husband; literally "the lord's right." There is little evidence that it actually existed; it seems to have been invented in imagination 16c. or 17c. The Latin form was jus primae noctis, "law of the first night." For French droit, see right (adj.2).

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