Definitions

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

  • noun A form of estate in which possession is held in fee, in tail, for the duration of the person's life, or during the life of some other person.
  • noun The tenure by which such an estate is held.
  • noun A tenure of an office or a dignity for life.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In law: Originally, in England, an estate in land in possession held by a freeman; a free socage or feudal estate; now, an estate in fee simple or fee tail, or for life, as opposed to copyhold. See the extract.
  • noun Hence, in general, an estate in land such as was originally considered as being an ownership of the soil itself, as distinguished from a mere use or chattel interest in it.
  • noun A parcel of land held by either of the tenures above described.
  • noun Figuratively, any free or unrestricted possession, or right of possession; that which belongs to one absolutely.

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

  • noun (Lw) An estate in real property, of inheritance (in fee simple or fee tail) or for life; or the tenure by which such estate is held.
  • noun See under Abate.

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

  • noun The tenure of property held in fee simple for life.

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

  • noun an estate held in fee simple or for life
  • noun tenure by which land is held in fee simple or for life

Etymologies

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

[Middle English frehold, translation of Anglo-Norman fraunc tenement : fraunc, free + tenement, possession.]

Examples

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