[in-tes-teyt, -tit]


(of a person) not having made a will: to die intestate.
(of things) not disposed of by will: Her property remains intestate.


a person who dies intestate.

Origin of intestate

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin intestātus, equivalent to in- in-3 + testātus testate
Can be confusedinterstate intestate intrastate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intestate

Historical Examples of intestate

British Dictionary definitions for intestate



  1. (of a person) not having made a will
  2. (of property) not disposed of by will


a person who dies without having made a will
Compare testate
Derived Formsintestacy, noun

Word Origin for intestate

C14: from Latin intestātus, from in- 1 + testātus, from testārī to bear witness, make a will, from testis a witness
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

Word Origin and History for intestate

late 14c., from Old French intestat (13c.) and directly from Latin intestatus "having made no will," from in- "not" (see in- (1)) + testatus, past participle of testari "make a will, bear witness" (see testament). As a noun, "one who has not made out a will," from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper