\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

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

This is but a small sampling of all the healthy-eating deeds that haven’t gone unpunished in my years of counseling patients with digestive disorders. SELF, "Why This Registered Dietitian Tells (Some of) Her Patients to Avoid Kale Salads," 30 Nov. 2018 The judgment in her divorce required Alexandre to give the deed of the former couple’s marital residence in Bridgehampton, New York, to Luann, who agreed to create a trust for her two children. Natalie Stone,, "Luann de Lesseps Sued by Her Two Children and Ex-Husband Over $8 Million House Sale," 12 July 2018 The second deed shows CL1 Milwaukee selling the Hyatt for $27 million to NLCA Milwaukee Fee Owner LLC. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Hyatt Regency, downtown's second-largest hotel, sold to Miami investors who plan updates," 3 July 2018 The deed was originally signed by the family partnership on Jan. 1, 2012. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "City working with owners of dilapidated house near LCA to avoid condemnation," 30 June 2018 There’s a cruel symmetry to the fact that Matt’s plan involves kidnapping Reyes’ 14-year-old daughter, Isabel (an excellent Isabela Moner), transporting her across the border into Texas and framing a rival cartel for the deed. Justin Chang,, "Violent, self-admiring sequel 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' gets lost in the desert," 26 June 2018 At least some of these tough words will probably turn into deeds. The Economist, "A full-blown trade war between America and China looks likely," 21 June 2018 After the city extended all leases through June, the CH-UH library board of trustees authorized Director Nancy Levin to negotiate for the deed to Coventry PEACE campus, which abuts the library branch, which also owns some acreage. Thomas Jewell,, "CH-UH Board of Ed moves ahead on turning over Coventry PEACE campus," 17 Jan. 2018 In this particular family, one of Hollywood's most consistently generous, the men tend to get the attention for good deeds—they're the celebrities, after all—even as the women quietly set the pace. Brooks Barnes, Town & Country, "How Michael Douglas and His Parents Turned Their Celebrity Into Serious Philanthropy," 8 Dec. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ownership interests can be resold, shared or gifted just like any other deeded real estate. Canyon River Ranch, The Seattle Times, "Fractional ownership can put a vacation dream within reach," 24 Sep. 2018 McGrady said a small right-of-way that will be deeded to the city went from 30 feet long to 27.7 feet and will be used for public utilities. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "Aberdeen reaches agreement for property needed to extend Middleton Road," 29 June 2018 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

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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Dictionary Entries near deed








Statistics for deed

Last Updated

9 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on deed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deed

Spanish Central: Translation of deed

Nglish: Translation of deed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deed for Arabic Speakers

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).


a nest or breeding place

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