personal property


Definition of personal property

: property other than real property consisting of things temporary or movable : chattels

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Examples of personal property in a Sentence

any personal property that is left in the lockers overnight will be impounded
Recent Examples on the Web Someone entered a home and stole personal property. Washington Post, "Fairfax County crime report," 12 Feb. 2020 King County sent letters this week to the property owners along the East Lake Sammamish Trail, east of Seattle, telling them to remove any personal property by September so construction can begin as planned next year. USA TODAY, "Condom conflict, ghost net, smart trash bins: News from around our 50 states," 18 Jan. 2020 Someone entered a home and stole personal property. Washington Post, "Fairfax County crime report," 4 Dec. 2019 City Council voted last month to offer the company a 5-year personal property tax abatement. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "CBD oil manufacturing facility opening in Westfield, bringing more than 40 jobs," 24 Oct. 2019 Meaher listed assets including $20,000 in land and personal property in the 1870 Census. NBC News, "America's last slave ship could offer a case for reparations," 9 Oct. 2019 The Lebeau couple and their two dogs made it out of their home uninjured, but their house of 20 years and most personal property was destroyed and their two cars were damaged. Alison Steinbach, azcentral, "Untested pyrotechnic box faulted for Gilbert plane crash into home," 14 Nov. 2019 The Durango Herald reports that county assessors are tasked with taking inventory of businesses’ personal property and determining the items’ value. Fortune, "Walmart Sues Colorado Counties for Overtaxing its Equipment," 13 Nov. 2019 Generally, only taxpayers who itemize deductions can take a tax write-off for damage to personal property. Joy Taylor,, "How to offset losses from natural disasters," 23 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'personal property.' 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 personal property

1833, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for personal property

Time Traveler

The first known use of personal property was in 1833

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Statistics for personal property

Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Personal property.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for personal property

personal property


Financial Definition of personal property

What It Is

Personal property is a class of property that can be moved from one location to another.

How It Works

Generally, real property is a class of property that cannot be moved.  It includes land and buildings, for example.  Personal property typically includes furniture, fixtures, tools, vehicles, and machinery and equipment.  All of these items can be moved.

Why It Matters

Many states impose a personal property tax on individual and business personal property. These personal property taxes are particularly important to consider, especially when comparing state corporate tax rates.  Some states offset their low corporate tax rates and even low real estate tax rates with higher personal property taxes.  As a result, it is important to consider the whole tax bill when evaluating state tax rates.

Source: Investing Answers

personal property

Legal Definition of personal property

see property

More from Merriam-Webster on personal property

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for personal property Encyclopedia article about personal property

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