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

  • The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home.

    Recent Activity

  • The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home.

    Sex Offender Issues, (C) 2006-2010, All Rights Reserved!

  • a warrant to enter the suspect's driveway, part of the traditionally protected area around the home known as the "curtilage," because he had not put up a fence.

    Libertarian Blog Place

  • Greenwood, which would allow searches, but the analogy is still flawed as the materials in question are not relinquished until asked for by the government agent as opposed to entrusted to a third party first and willingly left out in public the dissent in Greenwood stated that the garbage could not have been searched inside the curtilage or if in personal possession of the defendant in public.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » The Internet, The Fourth Amendment, and Technology Neutrality: A Response to Horowitz

  • It beggars belief that the Ministry charged with supervising the upkeep of a laboratory that handles virulent pathogens capable of destroying our livestock industry if mishandled should have been so derelict in its duties that the highly damaging foot & mouth virus was able to escape from its curtilage into the surrounding countryside.

    Archive 2008-03-09

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