Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A landed property, usually of considerable size.
  • n. The whole of one's possessions, especially all the property and debts left by one at death.
  • n. Law The nature and extent of an owner's rights with respect to land or other property.
  • n. Chiefly British A housing development.
  • n. The situation or circumstances of one's life: A child's estate gives way to the adult's estate.
  • n. Social position or rank, especially of high order.
  • n. A major social class, such as the clergy, the nobility, or the commons, formerly possessing distinct political rights.
  • n. Archaic Display of wealth or power; pomp.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Settled condition or form of existence; state; condition or circumstances of life or of any person; situation.
  • n. Social standing or rank; quality; dignity.
  • n. A person of high rank.
  • n. A property which a person possesses; a fortune; possessions, esp. property in land; also, property of all kinds which a person leaves to be divided at his death.
  • n. The state; the general body politic; the common-wealth; the general interest; state affairs.
  • n. The great classes or orders of a community or state (as the clergy, the nobility, and the commonalty of England) or their representatives who administer the government.
  • n. The degree, quality, nature, and extent of one's interest in, or ownership of, lands, tenements, etc.
  • transitive v. To establish.
  • transitive v. Tom settle as a fortune.
  • transitive v. To endow with an estate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To establish in possession; settle.
  • To settle as a possession; bestow; deed.
  • To settle an estate upon; endow with an estate or other property.
  • n. A fixed or established condition; a special form of existence; state.
  • n. Condition or circumstances of a person or thing; situation; especially, the state of a person as regards external circumstances.
  • n. Rank; quality; status.
  • n. Style of living: usually with a distinctive opithet, high, great, etc., implying pomp or dignity.
  • n. In law: The legal position or status of an owner, considered with respect to his property; ownership, tenancy, or tenure; property in land or other things.
  • n. More technically, and with relation only to land, the degree or quantity of interest, considered in respect to the nature of the right, its period of duration, or its relation to the rights of others, which a person has in land.
  • n. Property in general; possessions; particularly, the property left at a man's death: as, at his death his estate was of the value of half a million; the trustees proceeded to realize the estate.
  • n. A piece of landed property; a definite portion of land in the ownership of some one: as, there is more wood on his estate than on mine.
  • n. The body politic; state; commonwealth; public; public interest.
  • n. One of the orders or classes into which the population of some countries is or has been divided, with respect to political rights and powers.
  • n. A person of high station or rank; a noble.
  • n. A name humorously given in recent times to the newspaper press, or the body of journalists, as constituting a power in the state distinct from that of the three recognized political orders.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. everything you own; all of your assets (whether real property or personal property) and liabilities
  • n. a major social class or order of persons regarded collectively as part of the body politic of the country (especially in the United Kingdom) and formerly possessing distinct political rights
  • n. extensive landed property (especially in the country) retained by the owner for his own use

Etymologies

Middle English estat, condition, from Old French; see state.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman astat, from Old French estat (French: état). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "WILLIAMSBURG, November 18, 1773.
    THE many difficulties attending the management of the estate of the late Mr. William Rind compel me once more to remind all those indebted to it to be speedy in their payments, otherwise I shall be necessitated to use the most rigorous means; and those who have bonds, or other specialties, which are not already made known, will please to acquaint me therewith, that they may be adjusted as soon as possible.—I must also entreat the collectors in the several counties not to be remiss in making their returns, as the necessity of it must be obvious.
    WILLIAM RUSSELL, Administrator."
    Virginia Gazette (Rind), Nov. 18, 1773

    (See auction for the prequel.)

    January 30, 2009