Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An appearance of title which is in reality no title. See 59 U. S. 50, 15 L. Ed. 280.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The appearance, semblance or simulacrum of title. Any fact, extraneous to the act or mere will of the claimant, which has the appearance, on its face, of supporting his claim of a present title to land, but which, for some defect, in reality falls .short of establishing it Wright v. Mattison, 18 How. 56, 15 L. Ed. 280; Cameron v. U. S., 148 U. S. 301, 13 Sup Ct. 595, 37 L. Ed. 459; Saltmarsh v. Crommelin, 24 Ala. 352. "Color of title la anything in writing purporting to convey title to the land, which defines the extent of the claim, it being immaterial how defective or imperfect the writing may be, so that it is a sign, semblance, or color of title." Veal v. Robinson, 70 Ga. 800. Color of title is that which the law considers prima fade a good title, but which, by reason of some defect, not appearing on its face, does not in fact amount to title. An absolute nullity, as a void deed, judgment, etc., will not constitute color of title. Bernal v. Gleim, 33 Cal. 668. "Any instrument having a grantor and grantee, and containing a description of the lands intended to be conveyed, and apt words for their conveyance, gives color of title to the lands described. Such an instrument purports to be a conveyance of the title, and because it does not, for some reason, have that effect, it passes only color or the semblance of a title." Brooks v. Bruyn. 35 111. 392. It is not synonymous with "clnim of title." To the former, a paper title is requisite; but the latter may exist wholly in parol. Hamilton v. Wright, 30 Iowa, 480.