\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The UMass system also plans to increase the cost of fees and room and board at its campuses. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "Tuition at UMass system to increase by 2.5 percent," 14 July 2018 The Turkish side are still reluctant to pay the wages Meyer wants, but are willing to offer a sign-on fee and bonuses. SI.com, "Max Meyer Could Move to Turkey After Being Rejected By Liverpool and Arsenal Due to Wage Demands," 13 July 2018 Opponents said the amendment would have opened the door to new fees and costs to rooftop solar users. Lois K. Solomon, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Why are solar trees popping up all over? Thank thousands of South Florida families," 13 July 2018 Since then, Boulder has lost tens of millions of dollars in revenue that Xcel would have paid for renewing the contract and shouldered millions more in legal fees and other costs. Justin Worland/pueblo, Time, "How One Industrial City Is Fighting to Go Green," 12 July 2018 Barnes said that Accolade, which launched in 2007, takes a flat fee and a percentage of the cost savings at an organization as payment. Bob Fernandez, Philly.com, "Accolade, with 500 employees in Plymouth Meeting, seeks to boldly cut health costs for big companies," 12 July 2018 The bill marks the latest Sacramento showdown over how to change the state’s lending code, a hodgepodge of rules that limit fees and interest on some types of loans while leaving others unregulated. James Rufus Koren, latimes.com, "Latest battle over California lending market: Should grocery stores offer large loans?," 12 July 2018 Charter schools spend roughly double what districts do on administration, and some charter operators profit off large management fees and no-bid deals to furnish IT services or the facilities themselves, The Arizona Republic has found. Craig Harris, azcentral, "The charter-vs.-district school funding debate: Who gets more money?," 12 July 2018 The rest of the settlement money, $1.9 million, will go to attorneys' fees and the residents who brought the suit. Ivan Moreno, chicagotribune.com, "Milwaukee to pay $3.4 million over police stop-and-frisk policy," 11 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.

See More

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


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fee

Dictionary Entries near fee

fed up

fed up of

fed up with



fee bill


Statistics for fee

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fee

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!