1 of 2


: an estate in land held in feudal law from a lord on condition of homage and service
: a piece of land so held
: an inherited or heritable estate in land
: a fixed charge
: a sum paid or charged for a service


2 of 2


feed; feeing

transitive verb

chiefly Scotland : hire
in fee
: in absolute and legal possession

Example Sentences

Noun The admission fee is $10. a credit card with no annual fee The tuition fees went up this year. We returned the library book late and had to pay a late fee. His insurance covers the doctor's fee. They paid a fortune in legal fees. Verb the townspeople fee country lasses as housemaids, nurses, and cooks See More
Recent Examples on the Web
First introduced in 2018, the channel memberships feature lets YouTubers charge a monthly fee (ranging from $1 to $100 in North America) for access to exclusive content, emoji, badges and other perks. Todd Spangler, Variety, 1 Mar. 2023 Owners would be required to pay a $100 annual inspection fee per bedroom, up to $500. Paige Eichkorn, Arkansas Online, 26 Feb. 2023 Adoption fee: $100; includes microchip with lifetime registration, vet exam. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Feb. 2023 On posts on each platform Sunday, the Meta CEO explained that the Meta Verified subscription service will have have a monthly fee of $11.99 on the web, or $14.99 per month on mobile. Bysteve Mollman, Fortune, 19 Feb. 2023 So dismal are the party's finances that delegates to this weekend's convention, in a historic first, were charged a convention entry fee — $50 if paid in advance or $75 at the convention door. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 18 Feb. 2023 Interested customers also have to pay a one-time $599 fee, the standard rate for the necessary Starlink dish. PCMAG, 17 Feb. 2023 Like most attractive travel cards, the IHG Premier does come with an annual fee, which jumped from $89 to $99 with the card’s March revamp. Carly Helfand, Condé Nast Traveler, 6 Feb. 2023 There will be a fee, which has yet to be announced. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 4 Feb. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fee.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



Middle English, from Anglo-French fé, fief, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English feoh cattle, property, Old High German fihu cattle; akin to Latin pecus cattle, pecunia money

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of fee was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near fee

Cite this Entry

“Fee.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fee. Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a set charge
admission fee
license fee
: a charge for a professional service
a doctor's fees

Legal Definition


: an inheritable freehold estate in real property
especially : fee simple compare leasehold, life estate at estate
absolute fee
: a fee granted with no restrictions or limitations on alienability : fee simple absolute at fee simple
conditional fee
: a fee that is subject to a condition: as
a : fee simple conditional at fee simple
defeasible fee
: a fee that is subject to terminating or being terminated
determinable fee
: a defeasible fee that terminates automatically upon the occurrence of a specified event : fee simple determinable at fee simple
fee patent
: a fee simple absolute that is granted by a patent from the U.S. government
also : a patent that grants a fee simple absolute
the land shall have the same status as though such fee patent had never been issued U.S. Code

Note: Allotments of parcels of land in reservations are held in private ownership by fee patents.

fee tail
: a fee which is granted to an individual and to that individual's descendants, which is subject to a reversion or a remainder if a tenant in tail dies with no lineal descendants, and which is not freely alienable see also entail entry 1, De Donis Conditionalibus compare fee simple conditional at fee simple

Note: The fee tail developed out of the fee simple conditional as a means to ensure that property would remain intact and in the family. Instead of giving the grantee a fee simple absolute once he or she has a child, which the grantee could then alienate (as by selling), the fee tail creates a future interest in the descendants which prevents the grantee and the descendants from alienating the property. A fee tail is created by a conveyance to the grantee and to the heirs of the grantee's body. In most jurisdictions, the fee tail is not recognized.

: a fixed amount or percentage charged
especially : a sum paid or charged for a service
attorney fees
contingency fee
: a fee for the services of a lawyer paid upon successful completion of the services and usually calculated as a percentage of the gain obtained for the client

called also contingency, contingent fee

compare champerty, maintenance
filing fee
: a fee charged for the filing of a document

Note: Filing fees are ordinarily charged in civil matters with the filing of the complaint.

jury fee
: a fee that is assessed in some courts as part of the cost of a civil jury trial
origination fee
: a fee charged by a lender for the preparation and processing of a loan


Middle English, fief, from Old French , fief, ultimately from a Germanic word akin to Old High German fehu cattle

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