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[prop-er-tee] /ˈprɒp ər ti/
noun, plural properties.
that which a person owns; the possession or possessions of a particular owner:
They lost all their property in the fire.
goods, land, etc., considered as possessions:
The corporation is a means for the common ownership of property.
a piece of land or real estate:
property on Main Street.
ownership; right of possession, enjoyment, or disposal of anything, especially of something tangible:
to have property in land.
something at the disposal of a person, a group of persons, or the community or public:
The secret of the invention became common property.
an essential or distinctive attribute or quality of a thing:
the chemical and physical properties of an element.
  1. any attribute or characteristic.
  2. (in Aristotelian logic) an attribute not essential to a species but always connected with it and with it alone.
Also called prop. a usually movable item, other than costumes or scenery, used on the set of a theater production, motion picture, etc.; any object handled or used by an actor in a performance.
a written work, play, movie, etc., bought or optioned for commercial production or distribution.
a person, especially one under contract in entertainment or sports, regarded as having commercial value:
an actor who was a hot property at the time.
Origin of property
1275-1325; Middle English proprete possession, attribute, what is one's own, equivalent to propre proper + -te -ty2. See propriety
Related forms
propertyless, noun
1. belongings. 3. acreage. 6. feature.
Synonym Study
1. Property, chattels, effects, estate, goods refer to what is owned. Property is the general word: She owns a great deal of property. He said that the umbrella was his property. Chattels is a term for pieces of personal property or movable possessions; it may be applied to livestock, automobiles, etc.: a mortgage on chattels. Effects is a term for any form of personal property, including even things of the least value: All his effects were insured against fire. Estate refers to property of any kind that has been, or is capable of being, handed down to descendants or otherwise disposed of in a will: He left most of his estate to his niece. It may consist of personal estate (money, valuables, securities, chattels, etc.), or real estate (land and buildings). Goods refers to household possessions or other movable property, especially that comprising the stock in trade of a business: The store arranged its goods on shelves. 6. See quality. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for propertyless
Historical Examples
  • The propertyless woman today is rarely reduced to starvation.

    Women As Sex Vendors R. B. Tobias
  • In the Class War right is, according to the Socialists, on the side of the propertyless.

    British Socialism

    J. Ellis Barker
  • But imprisonment for debt was not the only fate that befell the propertyless.

  • From now on the chasm between the property-holding and the propertyless classes widened rapidly.

    Woman under socialism August Bebel
  • Apologies, stale jokes, and sneers at the propertyless workers followed one another in close succession.

    The Everett massacre Walker C. Smith
  • Social liberalism abolishes the inequality of possession, of the poor and rich, and makes people possessionless or propertyless.

    The Ego and His Own Max Stirner
  • In the institutional struggle between the propertied and the propertyless, the sympathies of the writer are with the latter party.

  • It is on such substantial grounds that the propertyless distrust the democracy of the progressives and radicals.

    Socialism As It Is William English Walling
  • Will it not result in the creation of a body of propertyless labourers employed by a small village aristocracy?

  • In the course of time the propertied members made common cause against the propertyless ones.

    Woman and Socialism August Bebel
British Dictionary definitions for propertyless


noun (pl) -ties
something of value, either tangible, such as land, or intangible, such as patents, copyrights, etc
(law) the right to possess, use, and dispose of anything
possessions collectively or the fact of owning possessions of value
  1. a piece of land or real estate, esp used for agricultural purposes
  2. (as modifier): property rights
(mainly Austral) a ranch or station, esp a small one
a quality, attribute, or distinctive feature of anything, esp a characteristic attribute such as the density or strength of a material
(logic, obsolete) another name for proprium
any movable object used on the set of a stage play or film Usually shortened to prop
Word Origin
C13: from Old French propriété, from Latin proprietās something personal, from proprius one's own
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 propertyless



c.1300, properte, "nature, quality," later "possession, thing owned" (early 14c., a sense rare before 17c.), from an Anglo-French modification of Old French propriete "individuality, peculiarity; property" (12c., Modern French propreté; cf. propriety), from Latin proprietatem (nominative proprietas) "ownership, a property, propriety, quality," literally "special character" (a loan-translation of Greek idioma), noun of quality from proprius "one's own, special" (see proper). For "possessions, private property" Middle English sometimes used proper goods. Hot property "sensation, a success" is from 1947 in "Billboard" stories.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for propertyless


Related Terms

hot property

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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