fee tail

Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to fee tail: fee simple, life estate

fee tail

n. pl. fees tail
An estate in land that may only be passed on to lineal descendants.

[Middle English fe taille, from Anglo-Norman fee taile : fee, fee; see fee + Old French taile, past participle of tailier, to cut; see tailor.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fee tail

(Law) property law
a. a freehold interest in land restricted to a particular line of heirs
b. an estate in land subject to such restriction. Compare fee simple
[C15: from Anglo-French fee tailé fee (or fief) determined, from taillier to cut]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



n., v. feed, fee•ing. n.
1. a sum charged or paid, as for professional services or for a privilege: a doctor's fee; an admission fee.
2. Law.
a. an estate of inheritance, either without limitation to a particular class of heirs (fee simple) or limited to one particular class of heirs (fee tail).
b. (in the Middle Ages) estate lands held of a feudal lord in return for services performed.
c. a territory held in fee.
3. a gratuity; tip.
4. to give a gratuity to; tip.
5. Chiefly Scot. to hire; employ.
in fee, in full ownership: an estate held in fee.
[1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French fie, variant of fief fief]
fee′less, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.fee tail - a fee limited to a particular line of heirs; they are not free to sell it or give it away
fee - an interest in land capable of being inherited
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
To increase the number of problems, this edition deletes the correlation chart, the section on recent modifications to the Rule Against Perpetuities and its 25 questions, the chapter on powers of appointment, and the appendix on the fee tail.
Both of these sections frame citizenship as strikingly different from the fee tail. First, although both entailed property and birthright citizenship involve a transmission, only entailed property is a form of intergenerational wealth transfer.
By limiting his children to life estates in the land and defining so specifically what was to occur after their death, D'Arcy had converted the estates' titles from fee simple to fee tail in an effort to ensure that the land remained in the family.