eminent domain

eminent domain


law : a right of a government to take private property for public use

Full Definition of EMINENT DOMAIN

:  a right of a government to take private property for public use by virtue of the superior dominion of the sovereign power over all lands within its jurisdiction


  1. The state took the homes by eminent domain to build the new road.

First Known Use of EMINENT DOMAIN


eminent domain

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Government power to take private property for public use without the owner's consent. Constitutional provisions in most countries, including the U.S. (in the 5th Amendment to the Constitution), require the payment of just compensation to the owner. As a power peculiar to sovereign authority and coupled with a duty to pay compensation, the concept was developed by such 17th-century natural-law jurists as Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf. See also confiscation.


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