noun[mass noun] Law
The status of lands or tenements held inalienably by an ecclesiastical or other corporation.
- The rest was in the hands of the Church and nobility, protected against sale by entail or mortmain, or owned by urban corporations, or bourgeois landowners.
- Hospitals and poor houses found the charitable bequests on which they had always relied dwindling, and, as ecclesiastical institutions, they were cut off from further endowments by legislation of 1749 restricting mortmain.
- All Catholic governments tightened up legislation against mortmain.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: mort|main
Definition of mortmain in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.