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demesne

[dih-meyn, -meen] /dɪˈmeɪn, -ˈmin/
noun
1.
possession of land as one's own:
land held in demesne.
2.
an estate or part of an estate occupied and controlled by, and worked for the exclusive use of, the owner.
3.
land belonging to and adjoining a manor house; estate.
4.
the dominion or territory of a sovereign or state; domain.
5.
a district; region.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English demeine < Anglo-French demesne, Old French demein; see domain
Related forms
demesnial, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for demesne
  • New sheriffdoms enabled the king to effectively administer royal demesne land.
British Dictionary definitions for demesne

demesne

/dɪˈmeɪn; -ˈmiːn/
noun
1.
land, esp surrounding a house or manor, retained by the owner for his own use
2.
(property law) the possession and use of one's own property or land
3.
the territory ruled by a state or a sovereign; realm; domain
4.
a region or district; domain
Word Origin
C14: from Old French demeine; see domain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for demesne
demesne
late 13c., from O.Fr. demeine, from L. dominicus "belonging to a master," from dominus "lord." Re-spelled by Anglo-Fr. legal scribes under infl. of O.Fr. mesnie "household" (and the concept of a demesne as "land attached to a mansion") and their fondness for inserting -s- before -n-. Essentially the same word as domain.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for demesne

in English feudal law, that portion of a manor not granted to freehold tenants but either retained by the lord for his own use and occupation or occupied by his villeins or leasehold tenants. When villein tenure developed into the more secure copyhold and leaseholders became protected against premature eviction, the "lord's demesne" came to be restricted and usually denoted the lord's house and the park and surrounding lands

Learn more about demesne with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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