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

Babis has also agreed to meet the Communist Party’s demand to tax the compensation that the country’s churches receive for property seized by the former Communist regime. Washington Post, "New Czech government wins confidence vote in Parliament," 11 July 2018 The Texas Supreme Court won’t hear the case until September, but last Tuesday Sculley gave her final approval to a five-story apartment complex planned for the Cherry Street property by Simor and co-developer Mitch Meyer. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Court cases demonstrate Sculley’s disregard for process," 11 July 2018 The likely buyer for Allen’s property is another individual high-roller who wants to build his or her own compound. Roger Vincent, latimes.com, "Paul Allen puts a $150-million price on storied acreage in Beverly Crest," 11 July 2018 To help with funding, a tax incremental financing district is under consideration for the property. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Amazon has competition for Oak Creek parcel that could become fulfillment center in new business park," 10 July 2018 The club secured a 10-year lease from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for the property, with an annual fee of $530. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "A new hut with dramatic views rose up this summer in Alaska’s Hatcher Pass backcountry," 8 July 2018 The lease terms weren’t made public because the lease hasn’t been signed, according to Investments Limited, the landlord for the property. Marci Shatzman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Boca Raton's downtown post office won't move after all," 5 July 2018 At the time, Woodbridge paid $90 million for the 10-acre property. Peter Kiefer, The Hollywood Reporter, "Megan Ellison's Former Home Is Back on the Market for $35 Million — but With a Twist," 26 June 2018 Rising property values were responsible for many drive-in closures. Peter Hartlaub, SFChronicle.com, "SF almost had a Sutro Drive-In in 1950, and more local outdoor movie history," 13 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

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

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Learn More about property

Phrases Related to property

common property

property damage

public property

Statistics for property

Last Updated

1 Sep 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

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Comments on property

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