curtesy

Curtesy

Cur"te*sy\ (k?r"t?-s?), n.; pl. Curtesies (-s?z). [Either fr. courlesy, the lands being held as it were by favor; or fr. court (LL. curtis), the husband being regarded as holding the lands as a vassal of the court. See Court, Courtesy.] (Law) the life estate which a husband has in the lands of his deceased wife, which by the common law takes effect where he has had issue by her, born alive, and capable of inheriting the lands. --Mozley & W.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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