Share this entry

property Line breaks: prop|erty
Pronunciation: /ˈprɒpəti/

Definition of property in English:

noun (plural properties)

1 [mass noun] A thing or things belonging to someone; possessions collectively: she wanted Oliver and his property out of her flat the stolen property was not recovered
More example sentences
  • When arrests were made stolen property was recovered that belonged to two victims of a robbery in the town centre.
  • He also faces a charge of possessing stolen property in connection with the March 11 incident.
  • Police are recommending charges of possessing stolen property, and break, enter and theft against the man.
resources, assets, valuables, fortune, capital, riches, wealth, holdings, securities, patrimony;
informal gear
South African informal trek
1.1A building or buildings and the land belonging to it or them: he’s expanding now, buying property [count noun]: the renovation of council properties
More example sentences
  • And this time is an exciting one in the commercial property market.
  • It was, they said, far too risky and was overexposed to the commercial property market.
  • So maybe we have some areas outside of protected areas, on private property or council land, that could be set aside for those uses.
building(s), premises, house(s), land, estates, acres, acreage;
freehold, leasehold;
North American real estate
1.2 (properties) Shares or investments in property: properties ran into profit-taking, with Haslemere 176p
More example sentences
  • Some women have invested in properties as part of their pension plan.
  • It is not mandatory that you take out a payment protection policy when purchasing investment properties.
  • Estate agents have already reported increases in investment properties as a direct result of the budget.
1.3 Law The right to the possession, use, or disposal of something; ownership: rights of property
More example sentences
  • But how were those notions of ownership and property understood in customary terms?
  • Just because of the abuse of property ownership, private property should not altogether be eliminated.
  • The second major element in communist doctrine was the social ownership of property and central planning of the economy.
1.4 old-fashioned term for prop2.
2An attribute, quality, or characteristic of something: the property of heat to expand metal at uniform rates
More example sentences
  • Yet, someone of strong will and character can override such properties and master the relic.
  • The types of bonds in minerals can affect the properties and characteristics of minerals.
  • The Bible does attribute the properties of life and death to both the plants and the lower animals.


Middle English: from an Anglo-Norman French variant of Old French propriete, from Latin proprietas, from proprius 'one's own, particular' (see proper).

  • Latin proprius, ‘one's own, special, particular’, source of proper (Middle English), developed an abstract noun proprietas ‘ownership’ which is not only the source of property, but of proprietary (Late Middle English), proprietor (mid 16th century), and propriety (Late Middle English). Appropriate, from a Latin word using ad- ‘to’, here in the sense ‘making [one's own]’ is from the same root.

Words that rhyme with property

commonalty • personalty

Definition of property in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: iˈnäkyo͞oəs
not harmful or offensive