fee tail

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fee tail

n. pl. fees tail
An estate in land that may only be passed on to lineal descendants.

[Middle English fe taille, from Anglo-Norman fee taile : fee, fee; see fee + Old French taile, past participle of tailier, to cut; see tailor.]

fee tail

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



n., v. feed, fee•ing. n.
1. a sum charged or paid, as for professional services or for a privilege: a doctor's fee; an admission fee.
2. Law.
a. an estate of inheritance, either without limitation to a particular class of heirs (fee simple) or limited to one particular class of heirs (fee tail).
b. (in the Middle Ages) estate lands held of a feudal lord in return for services performed.
c. a territory held in fee.
3. a gratuity; tip.
4. to give a gratuity to; tip.
5. Chiefly Scot. to hire; employ.
in fee, in full ownership: an estate held in fee.
[1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French fie, variant of fief fief]
fee′less, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.fee tail - a fee limited to a particular line of heirs; they are not free to sell it or give it away
fee - an interest in land capable of being inherited