ease·​ment ˈēz-mənt How to pronounce easement (audio)
: an act or means of easing or relieving (as from discomfort)
: 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 The easements appear to affect pre-existing plans for a light rail station, according to a representative from Mr. Fulop’s office, making the station potentially more expensive to build, and Mr. Fulop wants the state to pay for those additional costs. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2023 This easement, of more than 9,000 square feet, supports an existing Arkansas Department of Transportation project along Martin Luther King Drive in Jonesboro, according to the ASU System. Ryan Anderson, Arkansas Online, 25 Sep. 2023 The easement will allow the village to begin using that property for construction. Erin Yarnall, Chicago Tribune, 22 Aug. 2023 Advertisement Carter dismissed other claims that several easements over the property for utilities and transportation violate the leasing act. Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2023 If the easement is not exclusive, the developer will probably be able to negotiate and pay your neighbor for an additional easement over the dirt road to the main highway. Christopher A. Combs, The Arizona Republic, 8 Aug. 2023 Representatives of Bentonville Rogers claim the easement agreements don't prohibit leasing the building to K1 Speed. Nwa Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas Online, 8 July 2023 The ruling nullified the easement, preserving the rancheria’s unrestricted access to the property. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct. 2023 Officials decided to move Central from its original location on Polk Avenue to the Wilson site because the Polk location was right next to I-15 and had an easement that would have made renovation difficult, Dulgeroff said. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'easement.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near easement

Cite this Entry

“Easement.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/easement. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition


ease·​ment ˈēz-mənt How to pronounce easement (audio)
: 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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on easement

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