Detinue meaning

dĕtn-o͝o, -yo͝o
The act of unlawfully detaining personal property.
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At common law, an action to recover personal property wrongly held by another.
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A person or thing detained; a detainee.
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The unlawful detention of personal property which originally was rightfully acquired.
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An action or writ for the recovery of property unlawfully detained, as in a pawnshop.
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(law) A legal action to reclaim goods wrongfully detained.
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Origin of detinue

  • Middle English detenue from Old French detention from feminine past participle of detenir to detain detain

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition