1

intestate

play
adjective in·tes·tate \in-ˈte-ˌstāt, -stət\

Definition of intestate

  1. 1 :  having made no valid will died intestate

  2. 2 :  not disposed of by will an intestate estate

intestate was our Word of the Day on 09/14/2009. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Intestate was borrowed into English in the 14th century from Latin intestatus, which was itself formed by combining the prefix in- ("not") and the adjective testatus, meaning "having left a valid will." Testatus, in turn, derives from the past participle of the verb testari, meaning "to make a will." Approximately a century later, English speakers returned to testatus to coin the word testate, which also means "having left a valid will." Other descendants of testari in English include detest, protest, and testament, as well as testator ("a person who dies leaving a will or testament in force"). The antonym of testator is the noun intestate, meaning "one who dies without a will."

Origin and Etymology of intestate

Middle English, from Latin intestatus, from in- + testatus testate


First Known Use: 14th century


2

intestate

noun in·tes·tate

Definition of intestate

  1. :  one who dies intestate

1658

First Known Use of intestate

1658


INTESTATE Defined for English Language Learners

intestate

play
adjective

Definition of intestate for English Language Learners

  • law : not having made a will


Law Dictionary

1

intestate

play
adjective in·tes·tate \in-ˈtes-ˌtāt\

Legal Definition of intestate

  1. 1 :  having not made a valid will died intestate

  2. 2 :  not disposed of by a valid will intestate property an intestate estate; specifically :  transmitted according to statutory rules governing intestate succession

  3. 3 :  of or relating to intestate succession intestate laws

Origin and Etymology of intestate

Latin intestatus, from in- not + testatus testate


2

intestate

noun in·tes·tate

Legal Definition of intestate

  1. :  a person who dies intestate





Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a lively discussion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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