noun usu·fruct \ˈyü-zə-ˌfrəkt, -sə-\

Definition of usufruct

  1. 1 :  the legal right of using and enjoying the fruits or profits of something belonging to another

  2. 2 :  the right to use or enjoy something

usufruct was our Word of the Day on 07/22/2016. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Thomas Jefferson said, "The earth belongs in usufruct to the living." He apparently understood that when you hold something in usufruct, you gain something of significant value, but only temporarily. The gains granted by usufruct can be clearly seen in the Latin phrase from which the word developed, usus et fructus, which means "use and enjoyment." Latin speakers condensed that phrase to ususfructus, the term English speakers used as the model for our modern word. Usufruct has been used as a noun for the legal right to use something since the mid-1600s. Any right granted by usufruct ends at a specific point, usually the death of the individual who holds it.

Origin and Etymology of usufruct

Latin ususfructus, from usus et fructus use and enjoyment

First Known Use: circa 1630

Law Dictionary


noun usu·fruct \ˈyü-zə-ˌfrəkt, -sə-\

Legal Definition of usufruct

  1. :  the right to the use and enjoyment of another's property and its profits a usufruct in the crops of the estate; especially in the civil law of Louisiana :  a personal servitude of limited duration that confers the right of use and full enjoyment of another's property and its fruits

Additional Notes on usufruct

Under the civil law of Louisiana, one having a usufruct in land must deliver it to the owner with its basic substance undiminished at the end of the term; one having a usufruct in consumables acquires ownership of them, but must return their value or things of the same quantity or quality at the end of the usufruct.

Origin and Etymology of usufruct

Latin ususfructus from usus et fructus, literally, use and enjoyment

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