Definition of lien in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /liːn/
Pronunciation: /ˈliːən/


A right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged: they shall be entitled to a lien on any lot sold make sure there are no liens against the car [as modifier]: they may assert a lien claim on your property
More example sentences
  • The solicitors have claimed a lien on their file until their fees, which are substantial, are paid.
  • The lien may be claimed and maintained so long as the article remains in the possession of the lien claimant.
  • Mrs. D. will transfer her interest in the matrimonial home to Mr. D. provided that she can lift the Legal Aid liens on the property to a payment agreement form.


Mid 16th century: from French, via Old French loien from Latin ligamen 'bond', from ligare 'to bind'.

Words that rhyme with lien

Actaeon, Aegean, aeon (US eon), Augean, Behan, Cadmean, Caribbean, Carolean, Chaldean, Cyclopean, empyrean, epicurean, European, Fijian, Galilean, Hasmonean, Hebridean, Herculean, Ian, Jacobean, Kampuchean, Laodicean, Linnaean (US Linnean), Maccabean, Mandaean (US Mandean), Medicean, monogenean, Nabataean (US Nabatean), Orphean, paean, paeon, pean, peon, Periclean, piscean, plebeian, Pyrenean, Pythagorean, Sabaean, Sadducean, Sisyphean, skean, Tanzanian, Tennesseean, Terpsichorean, theodicean, Tyrolean

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: lien

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.