ap·​pur·​te·​nance ə-ˈpərt-nən(t)s How to pronounce appurtenance (audio)
appurtenances plural : accessory objects
the appurtenances of wealth
law : an incidental right (such as a right-of-way) attached to a principal property right and passing in possession with it
: a subordinate part or adjunct
The appurtenance of welcome is fashion and ceremony.William Shakespeare

Examples of appurtenance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Between them, these works consumed perhaps a year of Vermeer’s labor—a scrupulous rendering of bourgeois appurtenances and a faithful imagining of internal lives, which might better be described as an act of devotion. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 20 Feb. 2023 From them lamps projected at rakish angles, their bases embedded in the other appurtenances and items needed to convert dormitory rooms into homes-away-from home. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2019 Or, underneath the cultural appurtenances of Hawaiian life, were the islanders behaving rationally and pragmatically, much as any other people might? Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 19 Aug. 2019 The 10-page petition was filed by the water authority to acquire a permanent and perpetual easement and right of way for underground water lines and related facilities, connections and appurtenances. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, 31 July 2019 But proposed green belt-tightening among hoi polloi was not matched by a cutback in second and third homes, overseas vacations, luxury cars, private jets and high-tech appurtenances. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, 13 June 2019 But proposed green belt-tightening among hoi polloi was not matched by a cutback in their second and third homes, overseas vacations, luxury cars, private jets, and high-tech appurtenances. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, 13 June 2019 Yes, dear fathers and others born with the appurtenances generally designated male. Natalie Angier, New York Times, 11 June 2018 On the one hand, the appurtenances suggest just another blah-blah conference: podium, screen, cookies, coffee. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 25 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'appurtenance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see appurtenant

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of appurtenance was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near appurtenance

Cite this Entry

“Appurtenance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Legal Definition


ap·​pur·​te·​nance ə-ˈpərt-ᵊn-əns How to pronounce appurtenance (audio)
: property (as an outbuilding or fixture) or a property right (as a right-of-way) that is incidental to a principal property and that passes with the principal property upon sale or transfer

Anglo-French apurtenance, alteration of Old French apartenance, from apartenant appurtenant

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