escheat

[ es-cheet ]
/ ɛsˈtʃit /
Law.

noun

the reverting of property to the state or some agency of the state, or, as in England, to the lord of the fee or to the crown, when there is a failure of persons legally qualified to inherit or to claim.
the right to take property subject to escheat.

verb (used without object)

to revert by escheat, as to the crown or the state.

verb (used with object)

to make an escheat of; confiscate.

Origin of escheat

1250–1300; Middle English eschete < Old French eschete, escheoite, feminine past participle of escheoir < Vulgar Latin *excadēre to fall to a person's share, equivalent to Latin ex- ex-1 + cadere to fall (Vulgar Latin cadēre)

OTHER WORDS FROM escheat

es·cheat·a·ble, adjectiveun·es·cheat·a·ble, adjectiveun·es·cheat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for escheat

British Dictionary definitions for escheat

escheat
/ (ɪsˈtʃiːt) law /

noun

(in England before 1926) the reversion of property to the Crown in the absence of legal heirs
(in feudal times) the reversion of property to the feudal lord in the absence of legal heirs or upon outlawry of the tenant
the property so reverting

verb

to take (land) by escheat or (of land) to revert by escheat

Derived forms of escheat

escheatable, adjectiveescheatage, noun

Word Origin for escheat

C14: from Old French eschete, from escheoir to fall to the lot of, from Late Latin excadere (unattested), from Latin cadere to fall
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