Mortmain Mort"main`, n. [F. mort, morte, dead + main hand; F. main-morte. See {Mortal}, and {Manual}.] (Law) Possession of lands or tenements in, or conveyance to, dead hands, or hands that cannot alienate. [1913 Webster]

Note: The term was originally applied to conveyance of land made to ecclesiastical bodies; afterward to conveyance made to any corporate body. --Burrill. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mortmain — • History and details of the laws Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Mortmain     Mortmain     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Mortmain — is a legal term that means ownership of real estate by a corporation or legal institution that can be transferred or sold in perpetuity; the term is usually used in the context of its prohibition. Historically, the land owner usually would be the …   Wikipedia

  • mortmain — mort·main / mȯrt ˌmān/ n [Anglo French, from Old French mortemain, from morte (feminine of mort dead, from Latin mortuus ) + main hand, from Latin manus] 1: the possession of real property in perpetuity by a corporate body (as a church); also:… …   Law dictionary

  • mortmain — (n.) inalienable ownership, mid 15c., from Anglo Fr. morte mayn, O.Fr. mortemain, lit. dead hand, from M.L. mortua manus; see MORTAL (Cf. mortal) (adj.) + MANUAL (Cf. manual) (adj.). Probably a metaphorical expression …   Etymology dictionary

  • mortmain — [môrt′mān΄] n. [ME morte mayne < OFr mortemain < ML mortua manus, lit., dead hand < fem. of L mortuus, pp. of mori, to die (see MORTAL) + manus, hand: see MANUAL] 1. a transfer of lands or houses to a corporate body, such as a school,… …   English World dictionary

  • mortmain — /mawrt mayn /, n. Law. 1. the condition of lands or tenements held without right of alienation, as by an ecclesiastical corporation; inalienable ownership. 2. the perpetual holding of land, esp. by a corporation or charitable trust. [1250 1300;… …   Universalium

  • mortmain — noun /ˈmɔːt.meɪn,ˈmɔɹt.meɪn/ a) The perpetual, inalienable possession of lands by a corporation or non personal entity such as a church. [W]e do hereby grant our especial license and authority unto all and every person to grant sell alien and… …   Wiktionary

  • mortmain — Literally, the dead hand. Property held out of circulation. To alienate land in mortmain was to convey it to a corporation, aggregate, ecclesiastical or temporal. Perm v Carey, 65 US 465, 16 L Ed 701, 708. At one time in England, all purchases of …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • mortmain — Mortification Mor ti*fi*ca tion, n. [F., fr. L. mortificatio a killing. See {Mortify}.] 1. The act of mortifying, or the condition of being mortified; especially: (a) (Med.) The death of one part of an animal body, while the rest continues to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mortmain — noun Etymology: Middle English morte mayne, from Anglo French mortmain, from morte (feminine of mort dead) + main hand, from Latin manus more at manual Date: 15th century 1. a. an inalienable possession of lands or buildings by an ecclesiastical… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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