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squatter's right

noun, Law Informal.
1.
a claim to real property, especially public land, that may be granted to a person who has openly possessed and continuously occupied it without legal authority for a prescribed period of years.
Origin of squatter's right
1855-1860
An Americanism dating back to 1855-60
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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