[ chat-l ]
/ ˈtʃæt l /
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See synonyms for: chattel / chattels on Thesaurus.com


Law.Often chattels . a movable article of personal property.
Often chattels . any article of tangible property other than land, buildings, and other things annexed to land.
a human being considered to be property; an enslaved person.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of chattel

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English chatel, from Old French; see cattle

synonym study for chattel

1. See property.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for chattel

British Dictionary definitions for chattel

/ (ˈtʃætəl) /


(often plural) property law
  1. chattel personal an item of movable personal property, such as furniture, domestic animals, etc
  2. chattel real an interest in land less than a freehold, such as a lease
goods and chattels personal property

Word Origin for chattel

C13: from Old French chatel personal property, from Medieval Latin capitāle wealth; see capital 1
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