Definitions

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

  • n. Legal possession of land, as a freehold estate.
  • n. The act or an instance of taking legal possession of land.
  • n. Property thus possessed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A feudal term for an entitlement to a freehold estate with a right to immediate possession; still used in technical discussions of real property law today.
  • n. The act of taking possession.
  • n. The thing possessed; property.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See seizin.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See seizin.

Etymologies

Middle English seisine, from Old French saisine, from seisir, to seize; see seize.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English seysen, from Old French seisin, from the verb seisir, from Vulgar Latin *saciō, from the same Proto-Indo-European root as Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐍄𐌾𐌰𐌽 (satjan) and Old English settan. More at seize. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The disabilities under which a feudal owner very frequently lay gave rise to the practice of conveying land by other methods than that of feoffment with livery of seisin, that is, a handing over of the feudal possession.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 3 "Banks" to "Bassoon"

  • Little groups were trickling in all the time to swear fealty to their new king, and they were using an ancient ritual they referred to as "seisin," a ritual probably as old as the earth-taking ritual.

    Storm Breaking

  • Well, you have taken seisin of my life between you.

    A River So Long

  • Sometimes livery of seisin, an old English form of symbolic delivery, was used, particularly in the 17th century.

    A History of American Law

  • Middleton and Sarah Dehon of Charlestown had executed “deeds of feoffment, with livery of seisin,” in 1836, instead of using more streamlined forms.15 In the rest of the country, the enormous demand meant that land documents had to become simple and standard.

    A History of American Law

  • When I took first-year property law I learned about livery of seisin.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Should We Teach the Rule Against Perpetuities? Part II — My Decision:

  • Judgment: let Matilda have her seisin and let Clement be in mercy for disseisin.

    Amanda is on Men’s Rights Radio Today!

  • If seisin corporeal, user immemorial, and prescription for levance and couchance conferred any title indefeasible, then were the rabbits the owners in fee-simple, absolute, paramount, and source of pedigree.

    Springhaven

  • Doone, as if to some inheritance; and took his seisin of right upon him, being himself a powerful man; and begged a word aside with him.

    Lorna Doone

  • Fitz – Pains died out; and though he liked the idea of it, he had gone abroad, without taking seisin.

    Lorna Doone

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.