• synonyms


  1. Law. a beneficial interest for each member of an Indian tribe in the tribal trust fund accruing from the lease of tribal oil, gas, and mineral rights, the sale of tribal lands, etc.
  2. American History. a grant of land, usually 50 acres to a settler, given by certain colonies and companies in the 17th and 18th centuries.
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Origin of headright

An Americanism dating back to 1695–1705; head + right
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for headright

Historical Examples of headright

  • This headright system was later adopted in other colonies and continued in use for generations.

    The First Seventeen Years: Virginia 1607-1624

    Charles E. Hatch

  • One of these grants by Governor Wyatt is the earliest extant form of the headright franchise.

    Mother Earth

    W. Stitt Robinson, Jr.

  • Therefore, all persons so listed under the headright claim cannot be considered indentured servants.

    Mother Earth

    W. Stitt Robinson, Jr.

  • Governors under the company issued patents based on the headright until dissolution by the crown in 1624.

    Mother Earth

    W. Stitt Robinson, Jr.

  • It is not conclusively proved, then, that a certain person came as a servant merely because he is listed as a headright.