- The definition of a fee is a payment asked for or given, or inheritable land from a feudal lord in return for service.
- An example of a fee is an admission cost to a festival.
- An example of a fee is a piece of land that a feudal lord gave a man in exchange for many years of work.
- Historical heritable land held from a feudal lord in return for service; fief; feudal benefice
- Historical the right to hold such land
- Obsolete payment, service, or homage due a superior
- payment asked or given for professional services, admissions, licenses, tuition, etc.; charge
- Now Rare a present of money; tip; gratuity
- an inheritable estate in real property
Origin of feeMiddle English estate, fief, payment ; from Anglo-French (; from Old French feu, fief ; from Germanic as in Old High German feho, fihu, akin to Old English feoh) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form pek- from source Old English feoh, cattle, property
hold in fee
- A fixed sum charged, as by an institution or by law, for a privilege: a license fee; tuition fees.
- A charge for professional services: a surgeon's fee.
- A tip; a gratuity.
- Law See fee simple.
- a. In feudal law, an estate in land granted by a lord to his vassal on condition of homage and service. Also called feud2, fief.b. The land so held.
transitive verbfeed feed, fee·ing, fees
- To give a tip to.
- Scots To hire.
Origin of feeMiddle English fe, from Old English feoh, cattle, goods, money, and from Anglo-Norman fee, fief (from Old French fie, fief, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English feoh); see peku- in Indo-European roots. Word History: Fee comes from Old English feoh, which has three meanings: “cattle, livestock,” “goods, possessions, movable property,” and “money.” The Germanic form behind the Old English is *fehu–, which derives by Grimm's Law from Indo-European *peku–, “movable wealth, cattle.” In the ancient societies of Europe and Asia that spoke Indo-European languages, the wealth of a person or group was often measured by the size of their herds—just as it is in many traditional pastoral societies today. So it is natural that a word meaning “cattle” and “movable wealth” could also mean “money,” as ancient economies developed and standard coinage of gold and silver was introduced. The same development from “livestock” to “money” can also be observed in the family of Latin words derived from pecu, “cattle,” the direct Latin descendant of Indo-European *peku– and cognate of English fee. In Latin, many words relating to money and finance were derived from pecu, and several of these derivatives were ultimately borrowed into English, for example, pecūnia, “money,” the source of our word pecuniary. Another was pecūliāris, “relating to one's pecūlium or personal property, particular to oneself,” the source of our word peculiar. Finally, our word peculate comes from yet a third derivative, pecūlāre, “to embezzle public money.”
- (feudal law) A right to the use of a superior's land, as a stipend for services to be performed; also, the land so held; a fief.
- (law) An inheritable estate in land held of a feudal lord on condition of the performing of certain services.
- (law) 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).
- 1844, The Heritage, by James Russell Lowell
- What doth the poor man's son inherit? / Stout muscles and a sinewy heart, / A hardy frame, a hardier spirit; / King of two hands, he does his part / In every useful toil and art; / A heritage, it seems to me, / A king might wish to hold in fee.
- 1915, W.S. Maugham, "Of Human Bondage", chapter 121:
- Cronshaw had told him that the facts of life mattered nothing to him who by the power of fancy held in fee the twin realms of space and time.
- A monetary payment charged for professional services.
(third-person singular simple present fees, present participle feeing, simple past and past participle feed)
- To reward for services performed, or to be performed; to recompense; to hire or keep in hire; hence, to bribe.
From Middle English, from Old French fieu, fief (English fief), from Medieval Latin fevum, a variant of feudum, from Old Frankish *fehu (“cattle, livestock”), from Proto-Germanic *fehu (“cattle, sheep”), from Proto-Indo-European *peku-, *peḱu- (“sheep”). Cognate with Old High German fihu (“cattle, neat”), Old English feoh (“cattle, property, money”), Scots fe, fie (“cattle, sheep, livestock, deer, goods, property, wealth, money, wages”), West Frisian fee (“livestock”), Dutch vee (“cattle, livestock”), Low German fee (“cattle, livestock, property”), German Vieh (“cattle, livestock”), Danish fæ (“cattle, beast, dolt”), Swedish fä (“beast, cattle, dolt”), Norwegian fe (“cattle”), Icelandic fé (“livestock, assets, money”), Latin pecū (“cattle”).
fee - Legal Definition