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dead hand

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noun Law.
  1. mortmain.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dead hand

dead hand

noun
  1. an oppressive or discouraging influence or factorthe dead hand of centralized control
  2. law a less common word for mortmain
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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