Definition of perpetuity
- bequeathed to them in perpetuity
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lands that should remain in their wild state in perpetuity
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perpetuity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Continual existence—that elusive concept has made perpetuity a favorite term of philosophers and poets for centuries. The word derives ultimately from the Latin adjective perpetuus ("continual" or "uninterrupted"), which is also the source of our perpetual and perpetuate. It frequently occurs in the phrase "in perpetuity," which essentially means "forever" or "for an indefinitely long period of time." Perpetuity also has some specific uses in law. It can refer to an arrangement in a will rendering land forever inalienable (or at least, for a period longer than is set by rules against such arrangements) or to an annuity that is payable forever.
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
: the state of continuing forever or for a very long time
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