\ ˈdēd How to pronounce deed (audio) \

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 5) containing some legal transfer, bargain, or contract gave them the deed to the house


deeded; deeding; deeds

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 \ ˈdēd-​ləs How to pronounce deed (audio) \ adjective

Examples of deed in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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 The story said this generous tipper, who wanted no publicity for his deed, was by no means a wealthy person and reportedly worked two jobs to make his own ends meet. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, "MASTERSON ONLINE: Money taints politics," 26 Dec. 2020 Will these treats be a reward for the good deed of being a guinea pig? Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, "I Got a Trial Covid-19 Vaccine. Do I Still Have to Wear a Mask?," 15 Sep. 2020 Court records also show a deed transfer of Warner's residence from Warner to an individual with a Los Angeles address on Nov. 25 for $0. Mariah Timms, USA TODAY, "Nashville bombing: Authorities know Anthony Quinn Warner triggered the blast, but motive still a mystery," 29 Dec. 2020 Angela Balam, who works for Kaiser Permanente, didn’t tell her four children she was getting vaccinated until the deed was done. Los Angeles Times, "They risk their lives cleaning hospitals. Now, they are getting vaccinated. ‘I want people to know that we exist’," 19 Dec. 2020 Perhaps there is a young person who would like to earn a few dollars or a scout or church group who would like to do a good deed. Neil Sperry,, "Neil Sperry: Leaving leaves on your lawn all winter a bad idea," 18 Dec. 2020 This includes a deed, land contract, probate court order or divorce judgment. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, "Did you receive a yellow bag on your door about foreclosure? Here's how to stay in your home.," 3 Dec. 2020 But in an administrative sense, the deed has been done. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "A Victory for Democracy: Trump Allows the Transition to Begin," 24 Nov. 2020 President Donald Trump has damaged American diplomacy in word and deed. Editorial Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, "Biden will need to rebuild, refocus the State Department," 1 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The overall plan for the corridor would allow for 1,450 housing units to be developed, about half of which would be deed-restricted for low-income families. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: Saying goodbye from the other end of the camera," 18 Dec. 2020 Many properties have deed restrictions, meaning they can’t necessarily be sold for development, and many financial investments carry donor restrictions. Washington Post, "Boy Scouts must settle 95,000 abuse claims by next summer — or risk running out of cash," 19 Nov. 2020 The plan would devote roughly two-thirds of the money to loans to the owners of affordable rental properties that aren’t deed-restricted. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego adopts new action plan to preserve existing affordable housing," 2 Nov. 2020 Large sections of land that have deed disputes with Park City would remain open space for the time being. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Hideout Town Council meets to restart expansion plans before it’s too late," 5 Sep. 2020 If that amount is reached in time, it will be donated to the city and used to purchase the property and deed the property in perpetuity as a public park. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An Oconomowoc group is trying to raise $1.35 million to turn a property into a park instead of condos," 3 Sep. 2020 In turn, the school district’s legal counsel would prepare the sale agreement and deed. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Cleveland Heights offers to take over, market Millikin school site for redevelopment," 11 Aug. 2020 The scammer convinces the homeowner to deed the property over to a third party. Leah Napoliello, Houston Chronicle, "BBB on Homes: Beware of foreclosure rescue scams out there," 1 Aug. 2020 For two months in the summer of 1996, Farmer stayed in a country house that Wexner had deeded to Epstein four years earlier, according to property records., "‘‘The Epstein house was not on land owned by the Wexners, and was nearly one half mile away from the Wexner home,’’ he said. ‘‘The entrance to the Epstein residence was not through the Wexner gate.’’," 6 Oct. 2019

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

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for deed

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for deed

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for deed


How to pronounce deed (audio)

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)

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


\ ˈdēd How to pronounce deed (audio) \

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.



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
sheriff's 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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