\ 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 4) 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 deedless (audio) \ 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

An 1896 deed said a Tucker had joined five friends to buy the land for $100, but no modern-day records documented a living owner. Los Angeles Times, "A family that believes it descends from the first African American reflects on 400 years of history," 25 Aug. 2019 Each deed gives Alapine’s management organization, Sheeba Mountain Properties, a right of first refusal for purchase. Rina Raphael, New York Times, "Why Doesn’t Anyone Want to Live in This Perfect Place?," 24 Aug. 2019 Combine those great deeds with his stature in American pop culture—but specifically to black experience of the past quarter-century—and one wonders, if nothing changes, how this could be motivated by anything more than simple financial gain. Jonathan Jones,, "The Sliver of Hope for Jay-Z’s NFL Ambitions," 21 Aug. 2019 Beachwood Residential purchased the Austin at Trinity Green apartments on Singleton Boulevard from Stonelake Capital Partners, county deed records show. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "New York investor snaps up West Dallas apartment community," 19 Aug. 2019 See the photos above for the heartwarming deed that made the man's (and his duck's) day. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Suspicious vehicle call leads cops to pet duck fallen on hard times," 16 Aug. 2019 Harper is a modern-day Reggie Jackson, compelling and charismatic and capable of titanic deeds that linger in the memory. Bruce Jenkins,, "DeMarcus Cousins’ latest injury: How much can one man take?," 16 Aug. 2019 This isn’t the only sweet deed to make headlines this month. Char Adams,, "'Speedy Delivery': A Hungry Florida Boy Calls 911 — and Officers Bring Him a Pizza!," 8 Aug. 2019 Neighborhoods in North, West and South Seattle, along with Capitol Hill, Queen Anne and Madison Park, armed themselves with such deeds to ensure an all-white residential homogeneity. Marcus Harrison Green, The Seattle Times, "See how a Seattle artist is telling the painful story of redlining in his city," 8 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In other words, deeds much more heroic than making lattes. Rob Csernyik, Quartz at Work, "Why is “courage” suddenly such a popular job requirement?," 20 Aug. 2019 One hundred years after his death, the state of Maryland and Anne Arundel County acquired the house for $500,000 and deeded it to the Highland Beach community, according to The Sun archives. Christina Tkacik,, "Remembering the African-American resort town in Maryland founded by Frederick Douglass' son," 5 July 2019 In the 1970s Jamul Indian families lived in homes without plumbing or electricity on land deeded to the Catholic church as an Indian cemetery. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Jamul Indian Village grew at cemetery site," 6 Aug. 2019 Benkley raised skepticism about the fact Orlin Root-Thalman deeded the house back to the woman after a threat of a prison recommendation by the prosecution. Keith Schubert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Was it elder abuse or compassion for a stranger? Judge sentences man who took over elderly neighbor's home," 25 July 2019 In 2007, as part of the creation of the federal Presidential library, the Nixon Foundation deeded over to the American people some of the material that Richard Nixon had gained through the courts. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "How a Historian Uncovered Ronald Reagan’s Racist Remarks to Richard Nixon," 2 Aug. 2019 When the fields were completed the league deeded the land to Harris County, which is now Klein Park. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Spring Klein Sports Association determined to provide players best playing experience," 13 July 2019 By 2011, Compass Bank took ownership of much of the land after the investors deeded the property to the lender to avoid foreclosure, according to Press-Register accounts., "Ambitious sports development introduced in Mobile County," 1 July 2019 The property was deeded to Indiana University in 1937 by John Bradford, for the benefit of patients at Riley Hospital for Children. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "'I'm a human being': How Camp Riley ballet program liberates children with mobility issues," 19 July 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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Dictionary Entries near deed








Statistics for deed

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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)

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.

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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
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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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

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