noun Law.

a dwelling house with its adjacent buildings and the lands appropriated to the use of the household.

Origin of messuage

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, misreading (n taken as u) of Old French mesnage ménage Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for messuage

Historical Examples of messuage

  • Richard Shakespere, one messuage, half a yd land (14 acres), 14/.

    Shakespeare's Family

    Mrs. C. C. Stopes

  • A free tenant had a messuage and 33/4 acres, the rent of which was 3s.

  • Messuage, a dwelling-house with buildings and land attached for the use of the household.

    The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

    Edited by Rev. James Wood

  • Reginald Cobham gave his messuage in London to the enlarging thereof, in the year 1344.

  • The first plot of ground obtained was a messuage of Robert de Croylands in 1336.


    Mildred Anna Rosalie Tuker

British Dictionary definitions for messuage



property law a dwelling house together with its outbuildings, curtilage, and the adjacent land appropriated to its use

Word Origin for messuage

C14: from Norman French: household, perhaps through misspelling of Old French mesnage ménage
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 messuage

legal term for "dwelling," late 14c., (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Anglo-French messuage, which probably is a clerical error for mesnage (see menage). Originally the portion of land set aside for a dwelling-house and outbuildings, whether occupied by them or not; later chiefly in reference to the house and buildings and the attached land.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper