mortmain
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈmɔːt.meɪn/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈmɔɹt.meɪn/
Noun

mortmain (uncountable)

  1. (legal) The perpetual, inalienable possession of lands by a corporation or non-personal entity such as a church.
    • 1824, Charter of Incorporation of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland,
      [W]e do hereby grant our especial license and authority unto all and every person […] to grant sell alien and convey in mortmain unto and to the use of the said Society and their successors […]
    • 1900, Frederic William Maitland, "The Corporation Sole", Law Quarterly Review, v. 16,
      Though in truth it was the law of mortmain […] which originally sent the founders of chantries to seek the king's licence […]
  2. (literary) A strong and inalienable possession.
    • 1770, Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Present Discontents, and Speeches,
      […] ; and some part of that influence [of the government], which would otherwise have been possessed as in a sort of mortmain and unalienable domain, returned again to the great ocean from whence it arose, […]
Translations


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