noun \ˈlēn, ˈlē-ən\

law : a legal claim that someone or something has on the property of another person until a debt has been paid back

Full Definition of LIEN

:  a charge upon real or personal property for the satisfaction of some debt or duty ordinarily arising by operation of law
:  the security interest created by a mortgage

Origin of LIEN

Anglo-French lien, loyen bond, restraint, from Latin ligamen, from ligare to bind — more at ligature
First Known Use: 1531

Other Economics Terms

actuary, compound interest, globalization, indemnity, portfolio, rentier, stagflation, usurer


noun \ˈlī-ən, ˈlī-ˌen\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of LIEN

li·en·al \-əl\ adjective


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In law, a charge or encumbrance on property for the satisfaction of a debt or other duty. Common law developed two kinds of possessory lien: the specific (a lien on the specific property involved in a transaction) and the general (a lien for the satisfaction of a balance due, not confined to a specific property involved in a transaction). Courts of equity may, through the device of the equitable lien, recognize a creditor's interest in a debtor's property. Statutory liens are also available; developers and building contractors, for example, may use their interest in an improved site as security for payment (a mechanic's lien).


Next Word in the Dictionary: lienable
Previous Word in the Dictionary: lie–in
All Words Near: lien

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up lien? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).