Definitions for "Szlachta"
the Polish nobility, in which titles and ranks were unknown until their introduction by foreign rulers.
Szlachta was the noble class in Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the two countries that later jointly formed the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The szlachta arose in the late Middle Ages and existed through the 18th century and into the 19th. Traditionally, its members were owners of landed property, often in the form of folwarks.