mortmain

play
noun mort·main \ˈmȯrt-ˌmān\

Definition of mortmain

  1. 1a :  an inalienable possession of lands or buildings by an ecclesiastical or other corporationb :  the condition of property or other gifts left to a corporation in perpetuity especially for religious, charitable, or public purposes

  2. 2 :  the influence of the past regarded as controlling the present

Origin and Etymology of mortmain

Middle English morte-mayne, from Anglo-French mortmain, from morte (feminine of mort dead) + main hand, from Latin manus — more at manual


First Known Use: 15th century


Law Dictionary

mortmain

play
noun mort·main \ˈmȯrt-ˌmān\

Legal Definition of mortmain

  1. 1 :  the possession of real property in perpetuity by a corporate body (as a church); also :  the condition of property in such possession

  2. 2 :  the controlling influence of the past —not used technically

Origin and Etymology of mortmain

Anglo-French, from Old French mortemain, from morte (feminine of mort dead, from Latin mortuus) + main hand, from Latin manus


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