res nullius

noun
res nul·​li·​us | \ ˌrāsnəˈlēəs, rāˈsnu̇lē-; ˌrēznəˈlīəs, rēzˈnəlēəs \

Definition of res nullius

1 : a thing belonging to no one whether because never appropriated (as a wild animal) or because abandoned by its owner but acquirable by appropriation
2 : property not subject to private ownership under Roman law

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History and Etymology for res nullius

Late Latin, literally, thing of no one

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Cite this Entry

“Res nullius.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/res%20nullius. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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