Fee meaning

(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.
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A payment invoiced or made for the performance of services; an interest in or ownership of real estate See fee simple.
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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.

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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.

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A fixed sum charged, as by an institution or by law, for a privilege.

A license fee; tuition fees.

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A charge for professional services.

A surgeon's fee.

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A tip; a gratuity.
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To give a tip to.
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(scots) To hire.
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Payment asked or given for professional services, admissions, licenses, tuition, etc.; charge.
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(now rare) A present of money; tip; gratuity.
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An inheritable estate in real property.
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(now rare) To give a fee, or tip, to.
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(law) An inheritable estate in land held of a feudal lord on condition of the performing of certain services.
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(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).
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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.

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A monetary payment charged for professional services.
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To reward for services performed, or to be performed; to recompense; to hire or keep in hire; hence, to bribe.
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hold in fee
  • to own; possess
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

hold in fee

Origin of fee

  • Middle English fe from Old English feoh cattle, goods, money and from Anglo-Norman fee fief (from Old French fie, fief) (of Germanic origin) (Old English feoh) peku- in Indo-European roots

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

  • 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 (“cattle, beast, dolt”), Swedish (“beast, cattle, dolt”), Norwegian fe (“cattle”), Icelandic (“livestock, assets, money”), Latin pecū (“cattle”).

    From Wiktionary