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[ih-steyt] /ɪˈsteɪt/
a piece of landed property, especially one of large extent with an elaborate house on it:
to have an estate in the country.
  1. property or possessions.
  2. the legal position or status of an owner, considered with respect to property owned in land or other things.
  3. the degree or quantity of interest that a person has in land with respect to the nature of the right, its duration, or its relation to the rights of others.
  4. interest, ownership, or property in land or other things.
  5. the property of a deceased person, a bankrupt, etc., viewed as an aggregate.
British. a housing development.
a period or condition of life:
to attain to man's estate.
a major political or social group or class, especially one once having specific political powers, as the clergy, nobles, and commons in France or the lords spiritual, lords temporal, and commons in England.
condition or circumstances with reference to worldly prosperity, estimation, etc.; social status or rank.
Obsolete. pomp or state.
Obsolete. high social status or rank.
verb (used with object), estated, estating.
Obsolete. to establish in or as in an estate.
1175-1225; Middle English estat < Middle French; cognate with Provençal estat. See state
1. See property. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for estates
  • There are ways to have your parents put money in estates and trusts, which leaves them with money, but technically poor.
  • The rich have frequently chosen inbreeding as a means to keep estates intact and consolidate power.
  • Animals live in the wild on game estates, but can be hunted.
  • He will demand really effective inheritance and gift taxes and the breaking up of trust funds and estates.
  • He limps freely behind the high walls and patrolled fences of his vast estates.
  • Perry is also proposing to abolish taxes on dividends, capital gains, and estates-all of which would greatly benefit the rich.
  • He sank millions of dollars into estates, yachts, and art collections.
  • Most towns and cities have estates as bad as the slums from which council housing was originally supposed to rescue people.
  • Industry and commerce were shifted into estates and messy pig and duck farms closed down.
  • These handsome returns will buy a few country estates, leaving plenty of change for the odd yacht.
British Dictionary definitions for estates


a large piece of landed property, esp in the country
(mainly Brit) a large area of property development, esp of new houses or (trading estate) of factories
(property law)
  1. property or possessions
  2. the nature of interest that a person has in land or other property, esp in relation to the right of others
  3. the total extent of the real and personal property of a deceased person or bankrupt
Also called estate of the realm. an order or class of persons in a political community, regarded collectively as a part of the body politic: usually regarded as being the lords temporal (peers), lords spiritual, and commons See also States General, fourth estate
state, period, or position in life, esp with regard to wealth or social standing: youth's estate, a poor man's estate
Word Origin
C13: from Old French estat, from Latin status condition, state
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 estates



early 13c., "rank, standing, condition," from Anglo-French astat, Old French estat "state, position, condition, health, status, legal estate" (Modern French état), from Latin status "state or condition," from root of stare "to stand" from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet).

For initial e-, see especial. Sense of "property" is late 14c., from that of "worldly prosperity;" specific application to "landed property" (usually of large extent) is first recorded in American English 1620s. A native word for this was Middle English ethel (Old English æðel) "ancestral land or estate, patrimony." Meaning "collective assets of a dead person or debtor" is from 1830.

The three estates (in Sweden and Aragon, four) conceived as orders in the body politic date from late 14c. In France, they are the clergy, nobles, and townsmen; in England, originally the clergy, barons, and commons, later Lords Spiritual, Lords Temporal, and commons. For Fourth Estate see four.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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