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[dih-meyn, -meen] /dɪˈmeɪn, -ˈmin/
possession of land as one's own:
land held in demesne.
an estate or part of an estate occupied and controlled by, and worked for the exclusive use of, the owner.
land belonging to and adjoining a manor house; estate.
the dominion or territory of a sovereign or state; domain.
a district; region.
Origin of demesne
1250-1300; Middle English demeine < Anglo-French demesne, Old French demein; see domain
Related forms
demesnial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for demesne
Historical Examples
  • In the course of the morning, Mr. Jones sent for Florian, and proposed to walk out with him about the demesne.

    The Landleaguers Anthony Trollope
  • He lived by himself with his niece Albine in an old house on the border of the demesne.

    A Zola Dictionary J. G. Patterson
  • It occupies a terrace surrounding Kenmare House upon the highest eminence in the demesne and overlooks the lakes.

    One Irish Summer William Eleroy Curtis
  • I speculated what demesne this might be, and I realized that it was probably Lavedan.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
  • The rusty iron gate in the demesne wall swung open and we passed out.

    Waysiders Seumas O'Kelly
  • This child was the daughter of some custodian of the demesne before me.

    Bardelys the Magnificent Rafael Sabatini
  • I of course could not resist such temptation, and entered the demesne.

  • Thereafter it was his purpose to take his bride home to his Sicilian demesne.

    The Suitors of Yvonne Raphael Sabatini
  • The demesne of Kilruddery, the seat of the earls of Meath, is specially beautiful.

  • Not that fishing lodge beside the river, in an angle of your own demesne?

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for demesne


/dɪˈmeɪn; -ˈmiːn/
land, esp surrounding a house or manor, retained by the owner for his own use
(property law) the possession and use of one's own property or land
the territory ruled by a state or a sovereign; realm; domain
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

c.1300, demeyne (modern spelling by late 15c.), from Anglo-French demesne, demeine, Old French demaine "land held for a lord's own use," from Latin dominicus "belonging to a master," from dominus "lord." Re-spelled by Anglo-French legal scribes under influence of Old French 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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