property

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

Essential Meaning of property

1 : something that is owned by a person, business, etc. Those books are my property. [=I own those books] We are not responsible for the loss of personal property. See More ExamplesThe library is public property. [=the library is owned by the city, town, or state] He was trying to sell stolen property.Hide
2 : a piece of land often with buildings on it that is owned by a person, business, etc. He was caught trespassing on private property. She owns all sorts of property around town. See More ExamplesThe students were caught smoking on school property. He owns several valuable properties in the area. a developer of commercial/residential propertiesHide
3 somewhat formal : a special quality or characteristic of something One of the properties of helium is its lightness. A unique property of garlic is its strong odor. See More ExamplesThe two plants have similar physical properties. The herb has medicinal properties. the chemical properties of waterHide

Full 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

Other Words from property

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

Synonyms for property

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for property

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 The rest comes from state appropriations and local property taxes. oregonlive, 17 Nov. 2021 San Francisco schools will get $123.4 million collected from property owners that has been frozen for three years while the state’s courts decided whether the parcel tax was legally authorized by voters. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Nov. 2021 Without rental income, property owners could let buildings slip into disrepair. New York Times, 16 Nov. 2021 The price of real estate assets, for example, tends to appreciate with the general price increases in society, and rental income can be adjusted to keep up with the rising cost of living, providing property owners some protection against inflation. Fortune, 16 Nov. 2021 In 2017, after a protest petition was filed with the city by property owners adjacent to the site, plans for Ruckus burger restaurant failed. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Nov. 2021 The House is considering both a reduction in business equipment property taxes and income tax rate reduction. Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, 16 Nov. 2021 The high housing values can translate into steep property taxes, even with low rates under Proposition 13. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2021 The Keystone Opportunity Zone exempts Shell from most state and local taxes, including property taxes owed to Potter Township, which has fewer than 600 residents. Hannah Rappleye, NBC News, 14 Nov. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near property

proper to

property

property damage

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Statistics for property

Last Updated

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Property.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/property. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for property

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

More from Merriam-Webster on property

Nglish: Translation of property for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of property for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about property

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