mortmain

noun mort·main \ ˈmȯrt-ˌmān \

Definition of mortmain

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


Law Dictionary

mortmain

noun mort·main \ ˈmȯrt-ˌmān \

legal Definition of mortmain

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