• synonyms


[uh-pur-tn-uh ns]
  1. something subordinate to another, more important thing; adjunct; accessory.
  2. Law. a right, privilege, or improvement belonging to and passing with a principal property.
  3. appurtenances, apparatus; instruments.
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Origin of appurtenance

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + -purtenance a belonging; see purtenance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for appurtenances

apparatus, annex, addition, component, appendix, attachment, appendage

Examples from the Web for appurtenances

Historical Examples of appurtenances

  • Many of the old-time fittings and appurtenances are still to be seen.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • They had no capital, and in fact were in debt for part of their appurtenances.

    Benjamin Franklin

    Paul Elmer More

  • The furniture and appurtenances were of the most recherché description.

  • The appurtenances of love mean much to me; nearness, warmth, caresses.

    A Poor Man's House

    Stephen Sydney Reynolds

  • Is my youth, with all its appurtenances, worth your acceptance?

    A Little Union Scout

    Joel Chandler Harris

British Dictionary definitions for appurtenances


  1. a secondary or less significant thing or part
  2. (plural) accessories or equipment
  3. property law a minor right, interest, or privilege which passes when the title to the principal property is transferred
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Word Origin for appurtenance

C14: from Anglo-French apurtenance, from Old French apartenance, from apartenir to appertain
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

Word Origin and History for appurtenances


"apparatus, gear," late 14c.; see appurtenance.

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c.1300, "right, privilege or possession subsidiary to a principal one," from Anglo-French apurtenance (12c.), Old French apartenance, present participle of apartenir "be related to," from Latin appertinere "to pertain to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + pertinere "belong to" (see pertain).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper