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Property is any physical or virtual entity that is owned by an individual or jointly by a group of individuals. An owner of property has the right to consume, sell, rent, mortgage, transfer and exchange his or her property.[1][2][3] Important widely-recognized types of property include real property (land), personal property (other physical possessions), and intellectual property (rights over artistic creations, inventions, etc.), although the latter is not always as widely recognized or enforced.[4] A title, or a right of ownership, is associated with property that establishes the relation between the goods/services and other individuals or groups, assuring the owner the right to dispense with the property in a manner he or she sees fit. Some philosophers assert that property rights arise from social convention. Others find origins for them in morality or natural law (e.g. Saint Irenaeus).

Public property is any property that is controlled by a state or by a whole community. Private property is any property that is not public property. Private property may be under the control of a single individual or by a group of individuals collectively.[5]


The new and sudden substitution of the more ideal but extremely individualistic love motive in marriage for the older and long-established property motive, has unavoidably caused the marriage institution to become temporarily unstable. Man's marriage motives have always far transcended actual marriage morals, and in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the Occidental ideal of marriage has suddenly far outrun the self-centered and but partially controlled sex impulses of the races. The presence of large numbers of unmarried persons in any society indicates the temporary breakdown or the transition of the mores.


b. An attribute, characteristic, or quality. In earlier use sometimes: a distinctive, essential, or special quality; a peculiarity.
(a) Of a thing.
(b) Of a person or divine being. Now regional.
c. Logic. Any attribute, characteristic, or quality of an object; spec. (a) (in Aristotelian logic) a characteristic which is peculiar to a particular kind of thing but is not part of its essence or definition (one of the four, or later five, predicables); = PROPRIUM n. 1a; (b) an attribute or characteristic corresponding to a one-place predicate.
d. Linguistics. An intrinsic aspect or function; a distinctive feature or attribute (in various uses). Now rare.
  • 2. The quality of being proper or appropriate; fitness, fittingness, suitability; the proper use or sense of words. Cf. PROPRIETY n. 5b , PROPRIETY n. 6. Obs.
  • 3. a. Something belonging to a thing; an appurtenance; an adjunct. Obs.
b. A (usually material) thing belonging to a person, group of persons, etc.; a possession; (as a mass noun) that which one owns; possessions collectively; a person's goods, wealth, etc. Also fig. In quots. a1500 , 1526 referring to privately owned possessions, as distinguished from those held in common.
c. Originally: a piece of land under one ownership; a landed estate. Now also: any residential or other building (with or without associated land) or separately owned part of such a building (as an apartment, etc.). Also as a mass noun: such lands or buildings collectively.
d. orig. and chiefly N. Amer. A literary work considered with regard to its commercial production (esp. film) rights.
e. (a) hot (also big) property n. colloq. an artist, performer, literary work, etc., regarded as a commercial asset, esp. a person who is very fashionable or who has risen suddenly in popularity; a success, a sensation. Cf. HOT adj. 8a , HOT adj. 10b.
f. In pl. Finance. Shares or investments in land, buildings, etc.
  • 4. The fact of owning something or of being owned (cf. PROPER adj. 4); (esp. in legal contexts) the (exclusive) right to the possession, use, or disposal of a thing; ownership, proprietorship. Also fig. Cf. PROPRIETY n. 4a. The sense in quot. 1601 is disputed. N.E.D. (1908) notes: ‘? = Either was claimed by the other as ‘Mine’. Ownership was thus dismayed. (But Schmidt takes ‘property’ here as = ‘particularity, individuality’.)’. Other modern commentators have suggested ‘personality’, ‘personal quality’, or ‘appropriateness’ as possible meanings.
  • 5. Theatre and Film. Any portable object (now usually other than an article of costume) used in a play, film, etc., as required by the action; a prop. Chiefly in pl. Cf. PROP n.6
  • 6. fig. A means to an end; a person or thing to be made use of; an instrument or tool. Obs.


  1. property definition".
  2. property", American Heritage Dictionary,
  3. property", WordNet,
  4. Intellectual property is controversial among some.[who?][1] See anti-copyright and criticism of intellectual property.
  5. Understanding Principles of Politics and the State, by John Schrems, PageFree Publishing (2004), page 234
  6. Hann, Chris A new double movement? Anthropological perspectives on property in the age of neoliberalism Socio-Economic Review, Volume 5, Number 2, April 2007, pp. 287-318(32)