\ˈdēd \

Definition of deed 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is done evil deeds did my good deed for the day

2 : a usually illustrious act or action : feat, exploit a hero's daring deeds

3 : the act of performing : action righteous in word and in deed

4 : a signed and usually sealed instrument (see instrument entry 1 sense 4) containing some legal transfer, bargain, or contract gave them the deed to the house



Definition of deed (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb


: to convey or transfer by a signed instrument containing a legal transfer, bargain, or contract : to convey or transfer by deed (see deed entry 1 sense 4) deeded the house to her son

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Other Words from deed


deedless \-ləs \ adjective

Synonyms for deed

Synonyms: Noun

act, action, doing, exploit, feat, thing

Synonyms: Verb

alienate, assign, cede, convey, make over, transfer

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Examples of deed in a Sentence


They taught their children to be kind and to do good deeds. News of their heroic deeds spread far and wide. It's too late now. The deed is done. The land was transferred by deed. He gave them the deed to the property.


She deeded the house to her children. the philanthropist unexpectedly deeded his entire fortune to the animal shelter
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shortridge Foltz packed a lot of good deeds into her long life (1849-1934). Hadley Meares, Los Angeles Magazine, "Who Was That? The People Behind Famous L.A. Place Names," 20 June 2018 Humans and other primates often reciprocate good deeds. Christopher Intagliata, Scientific American, "Mongooses Gift Grooming for Guard Duty," 1 June 2018 Meanwhile, unbeknownst to any of them, somebody was recording Maurice’s good deed from afar. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "8-Year-Old Boy Helps Elderly Woman Climb Flight of Stairs, Steals Our Hearts," 31 May 2018 The Rockets star threw a shove in Green’s direction because good deeds can’t be rewarded, apparently. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "James Harden had the pettiest reaction to Draymond Green's offer to help," 28 May 2018 From the no good deed goes unpunished department, Aberdeen needs to be cautious about incentives that only target newcomers or new homeowners in the city. The Aegis, "Watch that step [Editorial]," 23 May 2018 The Redevelopment Authority confirmed that his name does not appear on any of the deeds, although his wife is listed as the president of one of the holding companies. Inga Saffron,, "Germantown residents are fighting to bring down the neighborhood's notorious blight king," 11 Apr. 2018 In the past the country's leaders honored in word and deed the media's crucial role in American society. The Washington Post Editorial Staff, star-telegram, "An attack on journalism itself," 29 June 2018 The good deed, however, throws off history: the woman goes on to mount a pacificist movement, keeping the U.S. out of World War II. Kyle Swenson,, "Harlan Ellison, science fiction master, dies at age 84," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Following Motherwell’s death in 1991, virtually all of his paintings were deeded to the foundation. Amanda Svachula, New York Times, "Missing for Four Decades, a Stolen Motherwell Painting Turns Up," 12 July 2018 The notes, unearthed in 2015, were deeded to the U.S. government in March 2016. Jennifer Schuessler, The Seattle Times, "Jacqueline Kennedy’s notes for Dallas found, starting a quiet tug of war," 2 July 2018 Sally loved to share stories of growing up on the family farm, first deeded to the Thompson family in 1730/31., "Sally Thompson Bissel," 21 June 2018 It was deeded to his ex-wife in 2009 following the couple's divorce, records show. Jack Flemming,, "Beverly Hills estate once owned by songwriter Glen Ballard seeks $12.9 million," 5 June 2018 In December 2010, the City Council agreed to deed the 9,122-square-foot cul-de-sac and right-of-way along Houston Street to the state for the project. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Next Alamo hearing to give public more information," 10 July 2018 Instead, the developer is likely giving the city a better deal, by deeding to the city 2.31 acres near the light-rail station. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "After 11 years, Charlotte cuts ties with developer who didn't build low-income housing," 30 May 2018 In 1987 the foundation deeded the property to Price County, which now maintains the grounds in cooperation with the Friends of Fred Smith. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin's highest point - Timm's Hill - is a quiet escape away from everything," 5 July 2018 Marsh Park opened at 6440 River Road on the first area deeded to the city in 1996. Sue Kiesewetter,, "Fairfield annexes 28 acres from township for Marsh Park expansion," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deed


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1758, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deed


Middle English dede, from Old English dǣd; akin to Old English dōn to do


see deed entry 1

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Statistics for deed

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deed

The first known use of deed was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for deed



Financial Definition of deed

What It Is

A deed is an ownership document that entitles its holder to specific rights to a property based on a set of explicit conditions.

How It Works

In most cases, a deed establishes proper ownership of a piece of property such as a home or automobile. The deed grants the holder explicit privileges and rights that may only be exercised under duly expressed conditions. In this respect, a deed's conferment of unique rights or privileges brings with it a unique set of responsibilities.

An example would be a deed of ownership to a home. While the freedom inherent in the deed allows the holder to take many actions regarding the home, he is bound by the conditions of home ownership. For instance, though he may build a balcony on the back of his house, he may not be able to install a high-power speaker system as it could disturb the neighbors.

Why It Matters

A deed sets specific privileges and rights that the holder alone may exercise and it sets rules that render the holder responsible for the consequences of exercising those rights.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of deed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is done : an act or action

: a legal document that shows who owns a building or piece of land



English Language Learners Definition of deed (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give someone ownership of (a building or piece of land) by means of a deed


\ˈdēd \

Kids Definition of deed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is done : act a brave deed

2 : a legal document by which a person transfers land or buildings to another


deeded; deeding

Kids Definition of deed (Entry 2 of 2)

: to transfer by a deed He deeded the house to the new owners.

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Legal Definition of deed 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something done : act sense 1 my free act and deed

2 : a written instrument by which a person transfers ownership of real property to another — see also deliver, grantee, grantor, recording act, registry, title — compare certificate of title

Note: A deed must be properly executed and delivered in order to be effective. Additionally, the grantor must have freely intended to make the transfer at the time of the conveyance. Deeds are recorded at the local registry of deeds to give notice of ownership.

bargain and sale deed

1 : a contract resulting from a bargain between a buyer and a seller of real property that creates a use in the buyer and therefore transfers title to the buyer by operation of law

2 : a deed in which the grantor makes no warranties of title to the grantee

deed-in-lieu \-in-ˈlü \

: deed in lieu of foreclosure in this entry

deed in lieu of foreclosure

: a deed from a mortgagor conveying title to the mortgaged property to the mortgagee in payment of the debt

Note: Deeds in lieu of foreclosure are sometimes used as an alternative to foreclosure.

deed of trust

: an instrument securing a debt in which a debtor conveys the legal ownership of real property to a trustee to be held in trust for the benefit of the creditor or to be sold upon the debtor's default to pay the debt : a mortgage with a power of sale

called also trust deed

master deed

: a deed that submits the land described therein to the provisions of a state's law regarding condominiums and sets out various information (as about the units, common areas, bylaws, and rights of the owners) as required under state law — compare declaration of condominium at declaration sense 4

quitclaim deed

: a deed that grants only whatever title or interest the grantor had to the property without any warranty as to the title

2 : special warranty deed in this entry — compare warranty deed in this entry

sheriffʼs deed

: a deed given to a buyer of property purchased at a sheriff's sale

special warranty deed

: a deed in which the property transferred is warranted to be free of all liens or encumbrances made by, through, or under the grantor but not otherwise

tax deed

: a deed evidencing the transfer of title acquired by the grantee as purchaser of property at a tax sale — compare tax certificate

trust deed

: deed of trust in this entry

unit deed

: a deed conveying a condominium unit

warranty deed

: a deed warranting that the grantor has a good title free and clear of all encumbrances and will defend the grantee against all claims — compare quitclaim deed and special warranty deed in this entry

Legal Definition of deed (Entry 2 of 2)

: to convey by deed

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Comments on deed

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


one that holds something together

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