\ 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

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 Consider, for example, a good deed that’s common during the holiday season: serving a hot meal in a soup kitchen. Darren Walker, Town & Country, "Is There More to Philanthropy Than Just Being Generous?," 3 Dec. 2019 However, there are always going to be unexpected gifts and thoughtful deeds that come our way in life. Hannah Herrera Greenspan,, "How to tell someone not to get your kids specific gifts for the holidays," 28 Nov. 2019 The school district’s deed made note of the cemetery, the outlet reported, the burial grounds was forgotten over time. Gabrielle Chung,, "Graves Belonging to 145 African-American Adults and Children Discovered on Fla. High School Campus," 22 Nov. 2019 These deeds impact them, making them have a better day. Jennifer Shapiro-sacks,, "Character Counts: Christa McAuliffe Middle student has ‘calming effect’ on peers and teachers," 20 Nov. 2019 Often times, these acts of kindness go unnoticed or under-appreciated, but every once in awhile, these good deeds end up inspiring thousands, or even millions online. Sheeka Sanahori, USA TODAY, "World Kindness Day 2019: Five inspiring acts of kindness of the year," 13 Nov. 2019 Among my People, the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation), the warbonnet was only given to those who earned each and every eagle feather through bravery, self-sacrifice and great deeds of valor. Ruth Hopkins, Teen Vogue, "Celebrating Native American Heritage Month: Dos and Donts," 12 Nov. 2019 What Trump saw as fantastic vindication Democrats saw as further proof of dirty and quite probably (for them) impeachable deeds. CBS News, "What happened in the impeachment inquiry this week?," 1 Nov. 2019 The reels held information about births, marriages, deaths and deeds. USA Today, "Slaves had a harrowing journey to America. We tell it in augmented reality.," 17 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The city deeded 40 more acres to the tribe in 2004, but still controlled the majority of the land on the island. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Eureka returns an island to a tribe nearly 160 years after a massacre," 22 Oct. 2019 It was renamed Goucher College in 1910, for the Methodist pastor and his wife, John Franklin Goucher and Mary Fisher Goucher, who deeded the college the land for its original downtown campus. Cody Boteler,, "Goucher College to remove racist language in land deed, recognize slavery’s legacy on campus," 17 Oct. 2019 After their divorce, Griffin’s ex-wife, Anne Dias Griffin, deeded her share in the 67th-floor unit in the Park Tower to him for $11.75 million in 2015. Bob Goldsborough,, "The 25 most expensive Chicago-area home sales of all time," 27 Sep. 2019 When the city first approved development plans for the Eastmark community in 2008, the developer agreed to build a regional park that would grow with the community and be deeded to the city as a public park as each phase was completed. Alison Steinbach, azcentral, "Here are the latest additions to Eastmark Great Park in Mesa," 4 Nov. 2019 Eighty years ago, counties began deeding 600,000 acres of burned, logged and unproductive forests to the state. oregonlive, "Failing forestry: The $1 billion lawsuit that could decide the fate of Oregon’s state forests," 27 Oct. 2019 Nearly 160 years later, Indian Island was effectively returned to the Wiyot when the city of Eureka deeded more than 200 acres over to tribe during a signing ceremony on Monday. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Eureka returns an island to a tribe nearly 160 years after a massacre," 22 Oct. 2019 Boulder’s goal is to build or preserve 3,500 middle income homes by 2030, of which 1,000 will deed restricted making them permanently affordable. Pratik Joshi, The Denver Post, "FHA rule change regarding condo loans could allow more buyers to break into Boulder County market," 29 Sep. 2019 Most of the new crop of private parking garages sell their spaces in-house and by way of licenses, which aren’t tracked in real estate databases the way deeded properties are. New York Times, "Private Parking Goes Deluxe," 13 Sep. 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

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Deed.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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


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.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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