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

lot, parcel, plat, plot, tract

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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

Pence’s fidelity to Trump, which is so perfect as to be almost artistic, would naturally cause him to bed down in a Trump property. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 12 Sep. 2019 No cost figures were provided for the tent structures that were erected this week on federal property near the U.S.-Mexico border. John C Moritz Austin Bureau Usa Today Network, USA TODAY, "Tent courts set up in Texas for immigration hearings closed to media," 11 Sep. 2019 Annapolis, Maryland — The U.S. Naval Academy is investigating after what appears to be a noose was found hanging on academy property on the 56th anniversary of the March on Washington. CBS News, "Naval Academy probing apparent noose found in school building," 10 Sep. 2019 Boucher, a retired anesthesiologist, said the attack was sparked because he was agitated about piles of brush on Paul's property. Fox News, "Judge orders resentencing for Rand Paul neighbor after ruling 30 days too lenient," 10 Sep. 2019 Last year, a federal court tossed out rules enacted in Boise, Idaho, that restricted sleeping on public property. Los Angeles Times, "Many of L.A.’s sidewalks would be off-limits for homeless people to sleep if plan passes," 9 Sep. 2019 Why: In Las Vegas, when an old casino hotel is past its prime, it usually gets blown up into dust and a new glitzy property is built in its place. Michele Parente, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Everything you need to know about Las Vegas’ latest reinvention, from Eataly to Lady Gaga and the NoMad," 9 Sep. 2019 On Saturday, a forensics team of about a dozen men and women dressed in white hooded jumpsuits descended on a property near Pigeon Peas, following up on a report of bodies trapped in a collapsed church. New York Times, "Corpses Strewn, People Missing a Week After Dorian Hit the Bahamas," 8 Sep. 2019 After months of balancing the freedom of religious expression with the separation of church and state, the commission decided the tough-but-necessary choice was to ban all holiday decorations on public property. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Shorewood may ban religious and secular holiday decorations from public buildings and places," 6 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for property

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for property

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

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More Definitions for property

marital property

noun

Financial Definition of marital property

What It Is

Marital property is property owned by a married couple.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe and Jane Smith get married. On the day of the wedding, John owns a 1988 Camaro, 10 sets of speakers, and his clothes. Jane owns a house, a Lexus, a house full of furniture and $200,000 in savings and investments. They buy a timeshare in Aruba together after the wedding.

Depending on the state in which John and Jane wed, live or divorce, everything they own while married might be considered marital property. That is, what is John's before the wedding is now Jane's too; what is Jane's before the wedding is now John's too.

Accordingly, when Jane decides to dump John, she may have to give a portion of her home equity, furniture, and savings and investments to John even though she purchased those before she was married. John's Camaro, speakers, and even his clothes may technically be half his. The timeshare must also be divided. In some states, only the property that John and Jane acquire during the marriage has to be split, and in some jurisdictions, the court can decide who gets what and whether the split is 50/50.

Why It Matters

Every state has its own laws regarding what constitutes marital property and how it is divided in the event of a divorce. In many cases, "equitable" does not mean "50/50." In the earliest days of marriage, the wife's property became the husband's property upon marriage; only when the husband died would a wife receive property. Those times have certainly changed.

It is important to note that some courts do not consider certain kinds of property marital property even if it is acquired during the marriage. These special exceptions often apply to property that a person inherits, property that a person obtains in exchange for something he or she acquired before the marriage, or property listed in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Source: Investing Answers

real property

noun

Financial Definition of real property

What It Is

Real property is anything that is attached to land.

How It Works

For example, Company XYZ's factory, the five-acre lot on which the factory sits and whatever oil, gas or mineral rights that are attached to the land are real property. Company XYZ's fleet of delivery trucks are not real property because they can be moved. The new electrical system Company XYZ installed in the factory is part of the real property, however, because it cannot be moved.

Why It Matters

The owners of real property usually have to pay property taxes on it to the local municipality or county.

Source: Investing Answers

property

noun

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.

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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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Comments on property

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