fee tail

fee tail

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French

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a charge or payment for professional services: a doctor's fee.
a sum paid or charged for a privilege: an admission fee.
a charge allowed by law for the service of a public officer.
an estate of inheritance in land, either absolute and without limitation to any particular class of heirs (fee simple) or limited to a particular class of heirs (fee tail)
an inheritable estate in land held of a feudal lord on condition of the performing of certain services.
a territory held in fee.
a gratuity; tip.
verb (used with object), feed, feeing.
to give a fee to.
Chiefly Scot. to hire; employ.

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French fie, variant of fief fief. See feudal

feeless, adjective
overfee, noun
superfee, noun

1. stipend, salary, emolument; honorarium.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fee (fiː)
1.  a payment asked by professional people or public servants for their services: a doctor's fee; school fees
2.  a charge made for a privilege: an entrance fee
3.  property law
 a.  fee simple See fee tail an interest in land capable of being inherited
 b.  the land held in fee
4.  (in feudal Europe) the land granted by a lord to his vassal
5.  an obsolete word for a gratuity
6.  in fee
 a.  law (of land) in absolute ownership
 b.  archaic in complete subjection
vb , fees, feeing, feed
7.  rare to give a fee to
8.  chiefly (Scot) to hire for a fee
[C14: from Old French fie, of Germanic origin; see fief]

fee tail
property law
 a.  a freehold interest in land restricted to a particular line of heirs
 b.  Compare fee simple an estate in land subject to such restriction
[C15: from Anglo-French fee tailé fee (or fief) determined, from taillier to cut]

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

late 13c., from O.Fr. fieu, from M.L. feodum "land or other property whose use is granted in return for service," probably from Frank. *fehu-od "payment-estate," in which the first element is cognate with O.E. feoh "money, property, cattle" (also Ger. Vieh "cattle," Goth. faihu "money, fortune"), from
PIE *peku- "cattle" (cf. Skt. pasu, Lith. pekus "cattle;" L. pecu "cattle," pecunia "money, property"); second element similar to O.E. ead "wealth." Sense of "payment for services" first recorded late 14c. Fee-simple is "absolute ownership," as opposed to fee-tail "entailed ownership," inheritance limited to some particular class of heirs (from O.Fr. taillir "to cut, to limit").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica

fee tail

in feudal English law, an interest in land bound up inalienably in the grantee and then forever to his direct descendants. A basic condition of entail was that if the grantee died without direct descendants the land reverted to the grantor. The concept, feudal in origin, supported a landed aristocracy because it served to prevent the disintegration of large estates through divisible inheritance or the lack of heirs. Statutory reforms in England now permit the owner to convey the entailed land by a simple deed and even by will

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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