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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.
Origin of estate
1175-1225; Middle English estat < Middle French; cognate with Provençal estat. See state
Synonym Study
1. See property. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for estate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The rest of the estate went to the testator's widow for life, and then to charity.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Speculation was rife as to who would inherit the estate which he left behind him.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • I have advised you to resume your own estate: that you won't do.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • During Tuesday the body was viewed by the tenants on the estate, the neighbors and friends.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Now then, John, you are the administrator of my father's estate; you have seen what you have seen.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
British Dictionary definitions for estate


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 estate

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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