property

noun
prop·​er·​ty | \ˈprä-pər-tē \
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

c : virtue sense 2

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 \ adjective
propertylessness \ ˈprä-​pər-​tē-​ləs-​nəs \ noun

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

Petitioner Christian Baldwin, representing Whirlyball, is requesting to divide the property and use 2.75 acres for the entertainment center. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Whirlyball business with laser tag, bowling proposed for burgeoning 'entertainment district' off Route 59 and I-88," 13 July 2018 Jarod Kohrt, 39, was charged July 11 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with burglary of a room within a building, theft of movable property and disorderly conduct. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Genesee Lake School employee caught in sex act in female colleague's classroom, complaint says," 13 July 2018 In Spain’s property and banking crisis in 2008, an official points out, internationally diversified Santander and BBVA fared far better than purely domestic lenders. The Economist, "Why the euro zone hasn’t seen more cross-border bank mergers," 12 July 2018 Eastman’s body was found on June 28 in a shallow grave on property owned by the suspects’ grandparents. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, "Suspects' Mom and Girlfriend Allegedly Knew Missing 16-Year-Old Was Murdered — but Said Nothing," 12 July 2018 The project would involve burying the Laguna Canyon Road utility poles between Laguna Canyon Frontage Road, near the Art-A-Fair property, and El Toro Road. Bradley Zint, latimes.com, "Laguna council pushes initiative to place utility lines underground to July 17 so mayor can vote," 10 July 2018 View unique real estate properties and celebrity homes at SunSentinel.com/PrimeProperty. Robyn A. Friedman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "$29 million condo in Sunny Isles Beach comes with its own custom 'scent identity'," 9 July 2018 Joshua Correa, 38, 500 block of Northpark Avenue, Aurora, was charged with aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and reckless conduct at 6:26 p.m. Friday in the 500 block of Manor Place, Aurora police said. Erika Wurst, Aurora Beacon-News, "Police: Aurora man charged with residential burglary," 9 July 2018 Hughes was the American voice of his church as waves of starving Irish Catholics landed in the port cities of the Northeast, leading to fiery attacks on church property and the founding of an overtly nativist political party, the Know-Nothings. Terry Golway, WSJ, "‘Dagger John’ Review: Calling Bigotry By Its Name," 8 July 2018

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

27 Oct 2018

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.

: a special quality or characteristic of something

property

noun
prop·​er·​ty | \ˈprä-pər-tē \
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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