scutage 1) The sum that the holder of a knight's fee may pay his lord in lieu of military service. Sometimes used as a form of tax. 2) Shield-tax, a tax paid in lieu of military service. 3) Feudal payment in place of knight service in the field. 4) Literally "shield-money"; a payment in lieu of military service, paid in respect of the knights which a tenant-in-chief owed to the Crown. The personal obligation to serve of the tenant-in-chief himself could not be discharged by scutage, but only by fine.