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mortmain

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noun mort·main \ˈmȯrt-ˌmān\

Definition of mortmain

  1. 1 a :  an inalienable possession of lands or buildings by an ecclesiastical or other corporation b :  the condition of property or other gifts left to a corporation in perpetuity especially for religious, charitable, or public purposes

  2. 2 :  the influence of the past regarded as controlling the present



Origin of mortmain

Middle English morte-mayne, from Anglo-French mortmain, from morte (feminine of mort dead) + main hand, from Latin manus — more at manual


First Known Use: 15th century


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