\ˈfē \

Definition of fee 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : an estate in land held in feudal law from a lord on condition of homage and service

(2) : a piece of land so held

b : an inherited or heritable estate in land

2a : a fixed charge

b : a sum paid or charged for a service

in fee

: in absolute and legal possession


feed; feeing

Definition of fee (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 chiefly Scotland : hire

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Examples of fee in a Sentence


The admission fee is $10. a credit card with no annual fee The tuition fees went up this year. We returned the library book late and had to pay a late fee. His insurance covers the doctor's fee. They paid a fortune in legal fees.


the townspeople fee country lasses as housemaids, nurses, and cooks
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Common Good may also have a liquor locker or membership program where the team will curate ingredients for a fee. Grace Wong, chicagotribune.com, "Common Good aims to create new cocktail culture in western suburbs," 13 July 2018 In 2008, Modric left Dinamo Zagreb for Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of around $19.5 million. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Luka Modric's Croatia Success Story Comes With Complications," 13 July 2018 Precedent exists for barring private firms from selling government services for a fee. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "DMV investigates startup that has disrupted appointment process," 11 July 2018 As a private-equity investor, Cerberus often provides advice for a fee to its portfolio companies. Jenny Strasburg, WSJ, "Deutsche Bank Hires Investor Cerberus for Paid Advisory Work," 10 July 2018 Like neighbor Universal Studios, Warner Bros. now offers studio backlot tours as well for a fee. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Aerial tram to iconic Hollywood Sign? Warner Bros. proposes major project," 10 July 2018 The beach has changing cabanas and lockers for a fee. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Sydney: The Black Book," 5 July 2018 Lots of investors now get the average stockmarket return for a fee of as little as 0.03% a year. The Economist, "The growth of index investing has not made markets less efficient," 5 July 2018 For a fee, the cemetery will also pick up a pet’s body at a veterinarian’s office and drive it to the cemetery or arrange euthanasia with an on-call vet. Annabelle Williams, Philly.com, "West Laurel Hill debuts pet cemetery, featuring 'aquamation'," 3 July 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fee


Middle English, from Anglo-French fé, fief, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English feoh cattle, property, Old High German fihu cattle; akin to Latin pecus cattle, pecunia money

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Dictionary Entries near fee

fed up

fed up of

fed up with



fee bill


Statistics for fee

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fee

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

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More Definitions for fee



English Language Learners Definition of fee

: an amount of money that must be paid

: an amount that is paid for work done by a doctor, lawyer, etc.


\ˈfē \

Kids Definition of fee

1 : an amount of money that must be paid A fee is charged to get into the park.

2 : a charge for services a doctor's fee



Legal Definition of fee 

1 : an inheritable freehold estate in real property especially : fee simple — compare leasehold, life estate at estate

absolute fee

: a fee granted with no restrictions or limitations on alienability : fee simple absolute at fee simple

conditional fee

: a fee that is subject to a condition: as

a : fee simple conditional at fee simple

b : fee simple on condition subsequent at fee simple

defeasible fee

: a fee that is subject to terminating or being terminated

determinable fee

: a defeasible fee that terminates automatically upon the occurrence of a specified event : fee simple determinable at fee simple

fee patent

: a fee simple absolute that is granted by a patent from the U.S. government also : a patent that grants a fee simple absolute the land shall have the same status as though such fee patent had never been issued U.S. Code

Note: Allotments of parcels of land in reservations are held in private ownership by fee patents.

fee tail

: a fee which is granted to an individual and to that individual's descendants, which is subject to a reversion or a remainder if a tenant in tail dies with no lineal descendants, and which is not freely alienable — see also entail entry 1, De Donis Conditionalibus — compare fee simple conditional at fee simple

Note: The fee tail developed out of the fee simple conditional as a means to ensure that property would remain intact and in the family. Instead of giving the grantee a fee simple absolute once he or she has a child, which the grantee could then alienate (as by selling), the fee tail creates a future interest in the descendants which prevents the grantee and the descendants from alienating the property. A fee tail is created by a conveyance to the grantee and to the heirs of the grantee's body. In most jurisdictions, the fee tail is not recognized.

2 : a fixed amount or percentage charged especially : a sum paid or charged for a service attorney fees

contingency fee

: a fee for the services of a lawyer paid upon successful completion of the services and usually calculated as a percentage of the gain obtained for the client

called also contingency, contingent fee

— compare champerty, maintenance

filing fee

: a fee charged for the filing of a document

Note: Filing fees are ordinarily charged in civil matters with the filing of the complaint.

jury fee

: a fee that is assessed in some courts as part of the cost of a civil jury trial

origination fee

: a fee charged by a lender for the preparation and processing of a loan

in fee

: under title that creates a fee

History and Etymology for fee

Middle English, fief, from Old French , fief, ultimately from a Germanic word akin to Old High German fehu cattle

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Comments on fee

What made you want to look up fee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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