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noun prop·er·ty \ˈprä-pər-tē\

Simple Definition of property

  • : something that is owned by a person, business, etc.

  • : a piece of land often with buildings on it that is owned by a person, business, etc.

  • : a special quality or characteristic of something

Full Definition of property

plural prop·er·ties

  1. 1 a :  a quality or trait belonging and especially peculiar to an individual or thing b :  an effect that an object has on another object or on the senses c :  virtue 3 d :  an attribute common to all members of a class

  2. 2 a :  something owned or possessed; specifically :  a piece of real estate b :  the exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing :  ownership c :  something to which a person or business has a legal title d :  one (as a performer) who is under contract and whose work is especially valuable e :  a book or script purchased for publication or production

  3. 3 :  an article or object used in a play or motion picture except painted scenery and costumes

prop·er·ty·less play \-ləs\ adjective
prop·er·ty·less·ness play \-nəs\ noun

Examples of property

  1. We are not responsible for the loss of personal property.

  2. He was trying to sell stolen property.

  3. He was caught trespassing on private property.

  4. She owns all sorts of property around town.

  5. The students were caught smoking on school property.

  6. He owns several valuable properties in the area.

  7. a developer of commercial properties

  8. One of the properties of helium is its lightness.

  9. A unique property of garlic is its strong odor.

  10. The two plants have similar physical properties.

Origin of property

Middle English proprete, from Anglo-French propreté, from Latin proprietat-, proprietas, from proprius own

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of property

quality, property, character, attribute mean an intelligible feature by which a thing may be identified. quality is a general term applicable to any trait or characteristic whether individual or generic <material with a silky quality>. property implies a characteristic that belongs to a thing's essential nature and may be used to describe a type or species <the property of not conducting heat>. character applies to a peculiar and distinctive quality of a thing or a class <remarks of an unseemly character>. attribute implies a quality ascribed to a thing or a being <the attributes of a military hero>.

Seen and Heard

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


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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