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noun, per·pe·tu·i·ty \ˌpər-pə-ˈtü-ə-tē, -ˈtyü-\

Simple Definition of perpetuity

  • : the state of continuing forever or for a very long time

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of perpetuity

plural perpetuities

  1. 1 :  eternity 2

  2. 2 :  the quality or state of being perpetual <bequeathed to them in perpetuity>

  3. 3 a :  the condition of an estate limited so that it will not take effect or vest within the period fixed by law b :  an estate so limited

  4. 4 :  an annuity payable forever

Examples of perpetuity in a sentence

  1. <lands that should remain in their wild state in perpetuity>

Did You Know?

Continual existence—that elusive concept has made perpetuity a favorite term of philosophers and poets for centuries. The word derives ultimately from the Latin adjective perpetuus ("continual" or "uninterrupted"), which is also the source of our perpetual and perpetuate. It frequently occurs in the phrase "in perpetuity," which essentially means "forever" or "for an indefinitely long period of time." Perpetuity also has some specific uses in law. It can refer to an arrangement in a will rendering land forever inalienable (or at least, for a period longer than is set by rules against such arrangements) or to an annuity that is payable forever.

Origin of perpetuity

Middle English perpetuite, from Anglo-French perpetuité, from Latin perpetuitat-, perpetuitas, from perpetuus

First Known Use: 15th century

Law Dictionary


noun per·pe·tu·i·ty \ˌpər-pə-ˈtü-ə-tē, -ˈtyü-\

Legal Definition of perpetuity

plural perpetuities

  1. 1 :  the quality, state, or duration of being perpetual <devised to them in perpetuity>

  2. 2a :  the condition of a future estate limited in such a way as not to vest within the period fixed by law for the vesting of an estate; also :  a limitation that gives rise to such a situation b :  an estate that will not vest within the period fixed by law — see also rule against perpetuities, statutory rule against perpetuities

  3. 3 :  an annuity payable forever

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