from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The unlawful personal appropriation of public lands; wrongful encroachment on, or enclosure of properties belonging to the public (e.g. highways, sidewalks, forests, harbors).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Wrongful encroachment upon another's property; esp., any encroachment upon, or inclosure of, that which should be common or public, as highways, rivers, harbors, forts, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In law, a nuisance consisting in an inclosure of or encroachment on something that belongs to another person or to the public, as the shutting up or obstruction of a highway or of navigable waters. Encroachments other than against the public are no longer termed purprestures.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1150–1200, Middle English, from Anglo-Norman; alteration of Old French porpresure (enclosure, occupied space), from porprendre (to seize, occupy, enclose), from por- (for) + prendre (to take); from Latin prehendere.



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  • The wrongful enclosure of or intrusion upon lands, waters, or other property rightfully belonging to the public at large.

    See also: eminent domain.

    January 3, 2008