Escheat Es*cheat", n. [OE. eschete, escheyte, an escheat, fr. OF. escheit, escheoit, escheeite, esheoite, fr. escheoir (F. ['e]choir) to fall to, fall to the lot of; pref. es- (L. ex) + cheoir, F. choir, to fall, fr. L. cadere. See {Chance}, and cf. {Cheat}.] 1. (Law) (a) (Feud. & Eng. Law) The falling back or reversion of lands, by some casualty or accident, to the lord of the fee, in consequence of the extinction of the blood of the tenant, which may happen by his dying without heirs, and formerly might happen by corruption of blood, that is, by reason of a felony or attainder. --Tomlins. --Blackstone. (b) (U. S. Law) The reverting of real property to the State, as original and ultimate proprietor, by reason of a failure of persons legally entitled to hold the same. [1913 Webster]

Note: A distinction is carefully made, by English writers, between escheat to the lord of the fee and forfeiture to the crown. But in this country, where the State holds the place of chief lord of the fee, and is entitled to take alike escheat and by forfeiture, this distinction is not essential. --Tomlins. Kent. (c) A writ, now abolished, to recover escheats from the person in possession. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]

2. Lands which fall to the lord or the State by escheat. [1913 Webster]

3. That which falls to one; a reversion or return [1913 Webster]

To make me great by others' loss is bad escheat. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • escheat — es·cheat 1 /is chēt/ n [Anglo French eschete reversion of property, from Old French escheoite accession, inheritance, from feminine past participle of escheoir to fall (to), befall, ultimately from Latin ex out + cadere to fall] 1: escheated… …   Law dictionary

  • Escheat — is a common law doctrine that operates to ensure that property is not left in limbo and ownerless. It originally referred to a number of situations where a legal interest in land was destroyed by operation of law, so that the ownership of the… …   Wikipedia

  • escheat — [es chēt′] n. [ME eschete < OFr, lit., that which falls to one < pp. of escheoir, to fall to one s share < VL * excadere, to fall upon < L ex , out + cadere, to fall: see CASE1] Law 1. the reverting of property to the lord of the… …   English World dictionary

  • Escheat — Es*cheat , v. t. (Law) To forfeit. Bp. Hall. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Escheat — Es*cheat , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Esheated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Escheating}.] (Law) To revert, or become forfeited, to the lord, the crown, or the State, as lands by the failure of persons entitled to hold the same, or by forfeiture. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • escheat — (n.) the reverting of land to a king or lord in certain cases, early 14c., from Anglo Fr. eschete (late 13c.), from O.Fr. eschete succession, inheritance, originally fem. pp. of escheoir, from L.L. *excadere to fall out, from L. ex out, away (see …   Etymology dictionary

  • escheat — escheatable, adj. /es cheet /, Law. n. 1. the reverting of property to the state or some agency of the state, or, as in England, to the lord of the fee or to the crown, when there is a failure of persons legally qualified to inherit or to claim.… …   Universalium

  • escheat — Reversion of monies or securities to the state in which the securityholder was last known to reside, when no claim by the securityholder has been made after a certain period of time fixed by state law. This is known as the holding period or cut… …   Financial and business terms

  • escheat — /əsˈtʃit/ (say uhs cheet) noun 1. (formerly) the reversion of land to the feudal lord or the Crown in the absence of heirs of the owner. 2. property or a possession which reverts by escheat. 3. the right to take property subject to escheat. –verb …   Australian English dictionary

  • escheat — es•cheat [[t]ɛsˈtʃit[/t]] Law. 1) law the reverting of property to the state or, as in England, to the crown when there are no legal heirs 2) law the right to take property subject to escheat 3) law (of property) to revert by escheat 4) law to… …   From formal English to slang

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