See under fee(def 4a).
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Origin of fee tail
1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French
Definition for fee tail (2 of 2)
[ fee ]
/ fi /
a charge or payment for professional services: a doctor's fee.
a sum paid or charged for a privilege: an admission fee.
a charge allowed by law for the service of a public officer.
- an estate of inheritance in land, either absolute and without limitation to any particular class of heirs(fee simple) or limited to a particular class of heirs (fee tail).
- an inheritable estate in land held of a feudal lord on condition of the performing of certain services.
- a territory held in fee.
a gratuity; tip.
verb (used with object), feed, fee·ing.
to give a fee to.
Chiefly Scot. to hire; employ.
Origin of fee
Related formsfee·less, adjectiveo·ver·fee, nounsu·per·fee, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for fee tail (1 of 2)
/ (fiː) /
a payment asked by professional people or public servants for their servicesa doctor's fee; school fees
a charge made for a privilegean entrance fee
(in feudal Europe) the land granted by a lord to his vassal
an obsolete word for a gratuity
- law (of land) in absolute ownership
- archaic in complete subjection
verb fees, feeing or feed
rare to give a fee to
mainly Scot to hire for a fee
Derived Formsfeeless, adjective
Word Origin for fee
C14: from Old French fie, of Germanic origin; see fief
British Dictionary definitions for fee tail (2 of 2)
- a freehold interest in land restricted to a particular line of heirs
- an estate in land subject to such restrictionCompare fee simple
Word Origin for fee tail
C15: from Anglo-French fee tailé fee (or fief) determined, from taillier to cut
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