Law. a movable article of personal property.
any article of tangible property other than land, buildings, and other things annexed to land.
a slave.

1175–1225; Middle English chatel < Old French. See cattle

1. See property. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chattel (ˈtʃætəl)
1.  (often plural) property law
 a.  chattel personal an item of movable personal property, such as furniture, domestic animals, etc
 b.  chattel real an interest in land less than a freehold, such as a lease
2.  goods and chattels personal property
[C13: from Old French chatel personal property, from Medieval Latin capitāle wealth; see capital1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., chatel "property, goods," from O.Fr. chatel (see cattle, which is the Norman-Picard form of the same word). Application to slaves (1640s) is a rhetorical figure of abolitionists, etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The master and mariners knowing this offence forfeit all their goods and chattels, and suffer three months imprisonment.
If no goods or chattels can be found, the officer shall levy on the lands and tenements of the debtor.
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