[ in-tes-teyt, -tit ]
/ ɪnˈtɛs teɪt, -tɪt /


(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 confused

interstate intestate intrastate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intestate

British Dictionary definitions for intestate


/ (ɪnˈtɛsteɪt, -tɪt) /


  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 Forms

intestacy, 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