easement

noun
ease·​ment | \ ˈēz-mənt How to pronounce easement (audio) \

Definition of easement

1 : an act or means of easing or relieving (as from discomfort)
2 : an interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use or enjoyment also : an area of land covered by an easement

Examples of easement in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the past, mining companies have taken such actions as buying land and setting a conservation easement on it, which will prevent it from being developed. Elizabeth Earl, Anchorage Daily News, "Partnership mines old gold while reclaiming the Fortymile River for fish," 21 Aug. 2019 In his role as parks director, Urrutia helped oversee the city’s aquifer protection program, which uses sales-tax revenue to purchase conservation easements on undeveloped land atop the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. Josh Baugh, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio parks director takes on new challenge at Alamo Colleges District," 10 July 2019 The farm’s owners will retain ownership of the property but will grant the state a conservation easement, which will limit its future usage. USA TODAY, "‘Lorax’ tree legend, butter Elmo, meth squirrel: News from around our 50 states," 19 June 2019 When the rail authority wanted a strip of his land for a temporary construction easement, an agent suggested that Tos transfer his mature walnut trees to pots for five years and then put them back in the ground. Ralph Vartabedian, latimes.com, "High-speed rail route took land from farmers. The money they’re owed hasn’t arrived," 10 June 2019 And those farmers in Iowa say pay me for the environmental services of planting cover crops and keeping more land in conservation easements. NBC News, "Democratic debate transcript: July 30, 2019," 31 July 2019 Meanwhile, the easement holders and donees, including the Maidu, are anxious to see the job done. Spencer Silva, SFChronicle.com, "PG&E owns land across California. What will happen to it?," 24 June 2019 The planners advocate transferring ownership of the public spaces in and around the square to a new, non-profit entity that would either own the spaces or control them through easements. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Final design recommendations for revamping Shaker Square earn mixed reviews at Sunday unveiling," 30 June 2019 The proposed acquisition includes road, access and pipeline easements, pipelines, pump station, facilities, improvements and fixtures. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Water district eyes eminent domain for sprayfields," 20 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'easement.' 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 easement

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for easement

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for easement

The first known use of easement was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for easement

easement

noun

Financial Definition of easement

What It Is

An easement is a legal right to trespass.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe owns five acres of land. He retires and decides that he doesn't want to keep paying property taxes on the full parcel. He decides to sell two of the five acres to Jane Smith, who builds a house on the parcel.

Because the land is surrounded on three sides by rivers and forest, Jane must drive over a patch of John's property to get to her house. When she buys the land, she negotiates an easement (probably at an extra cost), which allows her to have a driveway from the main road, over John's property, and to her house.

Utility companies often have easements on property so they can access utility lines, sewer pipes, cables and other physical components. In most cases, the easements dictate what sort of activity can occur (i.e., only for driving, not building).

Why It Matters

Easements often can be negotiated, and often they accompany the deed to a piece of property (so that the users of an easement don't lose access if the property sells). Sometimes, easements become implied if the same parties use a portion of a property for a long period of time.

Source: Investing Answers

easement in gross

noun

Financial Definition of easement in gross

What It Is

An easement in gross is a legal right to use another person's land for as long as the owner owns that land or the holder of the easement dies.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe owns five acres of land, which includes a good fishing pond. John sells an easement in gross to his old college roommate, Bill, who likes to fish in the pond. Because the easement is an easement in gross, Bill can fish on the land for as long as he lives or until John Doe sells the property.

Utility companies often have easements on property so they can access utility lines, sewer pipes, cables and other physical components. In most cases, the easements dictate what sort of activity can occur (i.e., only for driving, not building).

Why It Matters

Easements often can be negotiated, and often they accompany the deed to a piece of property (so that the users of an easement don't lose access if the property sells). Sometimes, easements become implied if the same parties use a portion of a property for a long period of time.

Source: Investing Answers

easement

noun
ease·​ment | \ ˈēz-mənt How to pronounce easement (audio) \

Legal Definition of easement

: an interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use or enjoyment (as the right to cross the land or have a view continue unobstructed over it) — see also dominant estate and servient estate at estate sense 4 — compare license, profit sense 2, right-of-way, servitude
affirmative easement
: an easement entitling a person to do something affecting the land of another that would constitute trespass or a nuisance if not for the easement — compare negative easement in this entry
apparent easement
: an easement whose existence is detectable by its outward appearance (as by the presence of a water pipe)
appurtenant easement \ ə-​ˈpərt-​ᵊn-​ənt-​ \
: easement appurtenant in this entry
common easement
: an easement in which the owner of the land burdened by the easement retains the privilege of sharing the benefits of the easement

called also nonexclusive easement

— compare exclusive easement in this entry
conservation easement
: an easement granted by a landowner to a public or private entity (as a land trust) in which the landowner agrees to restrictions on use of the land (as from development) and the holder agrees to enforce the restrictions
determinable easement
: an easement that will terminate upon the happening of a specific event or contingency
easement appurtenant easements appurtenant
: an easement attached to and benefiting a dominant estate and burdening a servient estate — compare easement in gross in this entry

Note: Easements appurtenant run with the land and are therefore passed when the property is transferred.

easement by estoppel
: an easement that is created when the conduct of the owner of land leads another to reasonably believe that he or she has an interest in the land so that he or she acts or does not act in reliance on that belief
easement by implication
: an easement that is created by operation of law when an owner severs property into two parcels in such a way that an already existing, obvious, and continuous use of one parcel (as for access) is necessary for the reasonable enjoyment of the other parcel

called also easement by necessity, implied easement, way of necessity

easement by prescription
: an easement created by the open, notorious, uninterrupted, hostile, and adverse use of another's land for 20 years or for a period set by statute

called also prescriptive easement

easement in gross
: an easement that is a personal right of its holder to a use of another's land and that is not dependent on ownership of a dominant estate

called also personal easement

— compare easement appurtenant in this entry

Note: Utility companies often own easements in gross.

exclusive easement
: an easement that the holder has the right to enjoy to the exclusion of all others — compare common easement in this entry
implied easement
: easement by implication in this entry
negative easement
: an easement that entitles the holder to prevent the owner of land from using the land for a purpose or in a way that would otherwise be permitted
nonexclusive easement
: common easement in this entry
personal easement
: easement in gross in this entry
prescriptive easement
: easement by prescription in this entry
quasi easement
: the use by the owner of two adjoining parcels of land of one of the parcels to benefit the other

Note: A quasi easement may become an easement upon the transfer of one or both of the parcels.

reciprocal negative easement
: an easement created by operation of law and held by the owner of a lot in a residential development that entitles the holder to enforce restrictions that were part of the general development scheme against the developer and subsequent buyers who purchase free of the restrictions

History and Etymology for easement

Anglo-French esement, literally, benefit, convenience, from Old French aisement, from aisier to ease, assist

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More from Merriam-Webster on easement

Nglish: Translation of easement for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of easement for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about easement

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