property

noun
prop·​er·​ty | \ ˈprä-pər-tē How to pronounce property (audio) \
plural properties

Definition of property

1a : a quality or trait belonging and especially peculiar to an individual or thing
b : an effect that an object has on another object or on the senses
d : an attribute common to all members of a class
2a : something owned or possessed specifically : a piece of real estate
b : the exclusive right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of a thing : ownership
c : something to which a person or business has a legal title
d : one (such as a performer) who is under contract and whose work is especially valuable
e : a book or script purchased for publication or production
3 : an article or object used in a play or motion picture except painted scenery and costumes

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Other Words from property

propertyless \ ˈprä-​pər-​tē-​ləs How to pronounce propertyless (audio) \ adjective
propertylessness \ ˈprä-​pər-​tē-​ləs-​nəs How to pronounce propertylessness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for property

Synonyms

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quality, property, character, attribute mean an intelligible feature by which a thing may be identified. quality is a general term applicable to any trait or characteristic whether individual or generic. material with a silky quality property implies a characteristic that belongs to a thing's essential nature and may be used to describe a type or species. the property of not conducting heat character applies to a peculiar and distinctive quality of a thing or a class. remarks of an unseemly character attribute implies a quality ascribed to a thing or a being. the attributes of a military hero

Examples of property in a Sentence

We are not responsible for the loss of personal property. He was trying to sell stolen property. He was caught trespassing on private property. She owns all sorts of property around town. The students were caught smoking on school property. He owns several valuable properties in the area. a developer of commercial properties One of the properties of helium is its lightness. A unique property of garlic is its strong odor. The two plants have similar physical properties.
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Recent Examples on the Web Landlord groups like the National Apartment Association and property owners have joined a lawsuit brought by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a civil rights group, aiming to strike down the order. Anna Bahney, CNN, "A 'huge wave of evictions' is possible in January," 16 Nov. 2020 Most require applicants to be at least 18 years old, city residents, and sometimes to be property owners in the city. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "On the agenda, Nov. 15," 15 Nov. 2020 The property has not been used for conventions since the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Surprise vacation, yard sale reprieve, teacher sick day: News from around our 50 states," 12 Nov. 2020 In the meantime, some property owners have been forced to forgo rental payments month after month. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Oregon landlords feeling the strain of eviction moratorium: ‘We’re just trying to keep our heads above water’," 12 Nov. 2020 Write-downs are due to appraisals being done because commercial property owners are having trouble making their mortgage payments and need a new loan to cover expenses. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Commercial real estate in tailspin from pandemic," 12 Nov. 2020 The share prices of some of the country’s biggest property owners were up more than 20% around midday Monday, compared to a roughly 4% increase in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Shares... Konrad Putzier, WSJ, "Real-Estate Stocks Soar on Hope Vaccine Will Ease Covid Concerns," 9 Nov. 2020 In the short run, property owners are incentivized to use their properties for purposes other than renting, such as converting them to condos. Brad Polumbo, National Review, "California Voters Chose Basic Economics over Feel-Good Policy in ‘Rent Control’ Referendum," 9 Nov. 2020 For the first century or so of American democracy, voting rights were held by white, male property-owners. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "The 2020 election saw the most voter participation in 120 years," 7 Nov. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for property

Middle English proprete, from Anglo-French propreté, from Latin proprietat-, proprietas, from proprius own

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Time Traveler for property

Time Traveler

The first known use of property was in the 14th century

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Statistics for property

Last Updated

19 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Property.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/property. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for property

property

noun
How to pronounce property (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of property

: something that is owned by a person, business, etc.
: a piece of land often with buildings on it that is owned by a person, business, etc.
somewhat formal : a special quality or characteristic of something

property

noun
prop·​er·​ty | \ ˈprä-pər-tē How to pronounce property (audio) \
plural properties

Kids Definition of property

1 : something (as land or money) that is owned That car is my property.
2 : a special quality of a thing Sweetness is a property of sugar.

property

noun
prop·​er·​ty
plural properties

Legal Definition of property

1 : something (as an interest, money, or land) that is owned or possessed — see also asset, estate, interest sense 1, possession sense 1e
abandoned property
: property to which the owner has relinquished all rights

Note: When property is abandoned, the owner gives up the reasonable expectation of privacy concerning it. The finder of abandoned property is entitled to keep it, and a police officer may take possession of abandoned property as evidence without violating the guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

after-acquired property
1 : property (as proceeds) that a debtor acquires after the commencement of a bankruptcy case and that is usually considered part of the bankruptcy estate
2 : property acquired after the perfection of a lien or security interest especially : such property acquired after the creation of a lien or security interest that is subject to the lien or becomes collateral for the security interest
3 : property transferred to the estate of a decedent after execution of the will
common property
: property owned or used by more than one party specifically : property owned or leased by tenants in common — compare tenancy in common at tenancy
community property
: property held jointly by husband and wife specifically : property especially from employment acquired by either spouse after marriage that is deemed in states having a community property system to belong to both spouses as undivided one-half interests — compare joint tenancy and tenancy by the entirety at tenancy ownership in indivision at ownership

Note: The states having community property laws are Louisiana, Arizona, California, Texas, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.

immovable property
: real property in this entry specifically, in the civil law of Louisiana : tracts of land with their component parts
intangible property
: property (as a stock certificate or professional license) that derives value not from its intrinsic physical nature but from what it represents
intellectual property \ ˌin-​tə-​ˈlek-​chə-​wəl-​ \
: property that derives from the work of the mind or intellect specifically : an idea, invention, trade secret, process, program, data, formula, patent, copyright, or trademark or application, right, or registration relating thereto
lost property
: property that has been left in an unknown location involuntarily but through no one's fault

Note: The finder of lost property has title to the property against all the world except the true owner.

marital property
: property acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage that is subject to division upon divorce — see also antenuptial agreement

Note: In most states, upon divorce marital property is divided according to what the court determines is equitable.

movable property
: property (as personal property or crops) that can be moved
personal property
1 : property (as a vehicle) that is movable but not including crops or other resources still attached to land : property other than real property a tax on the personal property of the corporation
2 : property belonging to a particular person
qualified terminable interest property
: property passing to a surviving spouse that qualifies for the marital deduction if the executor so elects providing that the spouse is entitled to receive income in payments made at least annually for life and that no one has a power to appoint any part of the property to any person other than the surviving spouse — see also QTIP trust at trust

Note: Under federal tax law the property must be included in the gross estate of the surviving spouse at his or her own death, where it is subject to taxation.

real property
: property consisting of land, buildings, crops, or other resources still attached to or within the land or improvements or fixtures permanently attached to the land or a structure on it also : an interest, benefit, right, or privilege in such property

called also immovable property

separate property
: property of a spouse that is not community property or marital property especially : property acquired by a spouse before marriage or individually during marriage (as by gift or often by inheritance)
tangible property
: property that has a tangible and corporeal existence and intrinsic economic value because of it the insurance policy restricted property damage coverage to tangible property — compare intangible property in this entry
2 : one or more rights of ownership

History and Etymology for property

Anglo-French propreté, proprieté, from Latin proprietat-, proprietas, from proprius own, particular

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