- a transfer of lands or houses to a corporate body, such as a school, church, or charitable organization, for perpetual ownership
- such ownership
Origin of mortmainMiddle English morte-mayne ; from Old French mortemain ; from Medieval Latin mortua manus, literally , dead hand ; from feminine of Classical Latin mortuus, past participle of mori, to die (see mortal) + manus, hand: see manual
A legal arrangement in which a property owner such as an ecclesiastical institution is barred from transferring or selling its property.
Origin of mortmainMiddle English mortemayne, from Old French mortemain : morte, feminine of mort, dead; see mortgage + main, hand (from Latin manus; see man-2 in Indo-European roots).
mortmain - Legal Definition
The permanent holding of lands by an ecclesiastical organization, without the right to dispose of them.