\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

Two frequent questions are whether this privatizes government and whether the fees are a tax. BostonGlobe.com, "Should Massachusetts allow cities and towns to create Community Benefit Districts?," 13 July 2018 Game registration will be at 6 p.m. each day and includes a $10 player’s fee. Ginger Brashinger, Daily Southtown, "Proud American Days to close out July with food, fun and entertainment," 11 July 2018 The licensing fee for cats is $10, or $5 if neutered, according to the mayor’s office. Gregory Tejeda, Post-Tribune, "Gary mayor eyes improved fee collection to help city's finances," 11 July 2018 Randa's proposal included additional fees, risks and a longer transaction time. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "New proposal put his plan at risk, but Perry Ellis founder may still win back company," 6 July 2018 Martínez will join fellow arrivals Radja Nainggolan, Stefan de Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah at San Siro next season, with his rumoured £20m arrival taking the Nerazurri's spending this window up to £65.7m - including Matteo Politano's loan fee. SI.com, "Inter Confirm Signing of Exciting Argentine Attacker Lautaro Martinez on 5-Year Deal," 4 July 2018 The entry fee is $90 per person, which includes greens fees and a cart for the entire event. baltimoresun.com, "Digest (June 29): Baltimore golf courses hosting match play tournament," 30 June 2018 Total revenue for downtown festivals, including vending fees, sponsorships, beverage sales and parking, slipped from about $443,000 two years ago to about $314,000 this year. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "City strips down festivities at Glendale Glitters to cut costs," 26 June 2018 Closing costs also include a land registration fee of around $25, a property transfer tax of 4 percent of the purchase price and, when applicable, mortgage costs, which are set by the bank. Roxana Popescu, New York Times, "House Hunting in … Hungary," 20 June 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

10 Nov 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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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