Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The area considered legally part of a house or dwelling by virtue of its enclosure by a fence or habitual use in domestic activities.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In law, the area of land occupied by a dwelling and its yard and outbuildings, and inclosed, or deemed as if inclosed, for their better use and enjoyment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Law) A yard, courtyard, or piece of ground, included within the fence surrounding a dwelling house.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun law the area immediately surrounding a house. Contains either no roof, or areas within the roof to see inside.

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

  • noun the enclosed land around a house or other building

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French courtillage, from courtil, diminutive of cort, court; see court.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French cortillage, curtillage, from cortil court, courtyard, Latin cortis court. See court.

Examples

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Comments

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  • JM has a small courtyard but when he refers to it as the curtilage it seems so much bigger!

    August 17, 2009

  • "Justice Antonin Scalia said a person has the Fourth Amendment right to be free from the government's gaze inside their home and in the area surrounding it, which is called the curtilage."

    March 26, 2013

  • The yard has a drive and a fertile edge

    Set round by a well trimmed myrtle hedge.

    It’s modest for sure

    But green and secure,

    A bargain in comfortable curtilage.

    November 3, 2018