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

    A fee simple; an estate belonging to one and his heirs and assigns forever; an estate of inheritance; a freehold conditioned with a service; compensation for professional services. See 1 N. Y. 491.

  • Fee
    Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    1. A freehold estate in lands, held of a superior lord, as a reward for services, and on condition of rendering some service in return for it. The true meaning of the word "fee" Is the same as that of "feud" or "fief," and in its original sense it is taken in contradistinction to "allodium," which latter is defined as a man's own land, which he possesses merely in his own right, without owing any rent or service to any superior. 2 Bl. Comm. 105. See Wendell v. Crandall, 1 N. Y. 491. In modem English tenures, "fee" signifies an estate of inheritance, being the highest and most extensive interest which a man can have in a feud; and when the term Is used simply, without any adjunct, or in the form "fee-simple," it imports an absolute inheritance clear of any cendition, limitation, or restriction to particular heirs, but descendible to the heirs general, male or female, lineal Or collateral. 2 Bl. Comm. 106.
    —Base fee. A determinable or qualified fee; an estate having the nature of a fee, but not a fee simple absolute.
    —Conditional fee. An estate restrained to some particular heirs, exclusive of others, as to the heirs of a man's body, by which only his lineal descendants were admitted, in exclusion of collateral; or to the heirs male of his body, in exclusion of heirs female, whether lineal or collateral. It was called a "conditional fee," by reason of the condition expressed or implied in the donation of it that, if the donee died without such particular heirs, the land should revert to the donor. 2 Bl. Comm. llO; Kirk v. Furgerson, 6 Gold. (Tenn.) 483; Simmons v. Augustin, 3 Port. (Ala.) 69; Paterson v. Ellis, 11 Wend. (N. Y.) 277; Moody v. Walker, 3 Ark. 190; Halbert v. Halbert, 21 Mo. 281.
    —Determinable fee. (Also calied a "qualified" or "base" fee.} One which has a qualification subjoined to it, and which must be determined whenever the quni-ification annexed to it is at an end. 2 Bl. Comm. 109. An estate in fee which is liable to be determined by some act or event expressed on its limitation to circumscribe its continuance, or inferred by law as bounding its extent. 1 Washb. Real Prop. 62; MicLane v. Bo-vee, 35 Wis. 36
    —Fee damages. See Damages
    —Fee expectant. An estate where lands are given to a man and his wife, and the heirs of their bodies.
    —Fee simple. See that title.
    —Fee tail. See that title.
    —Great fee. In feudal law, this was the designation of a fee held directly from the crown.
    —Knight's fee. The determinate quantity of land, (held by an estate of inheritance,) or of annuai income therefrom, which was sufficient to maintain a knight. Every man holding such a fee was obliged to be knighted, and attend the king in his wars fur the space of forty days in the year, or pay a fine (called "escuage") for his non-compliance. The estate was estimated at £20 a year, or, according to Coke, 680 acres. See 1 Bl. Comm. 404, 410 ; 2 Bl. Comm. 62; Co. Litt. 69a.
    —Limited fee. An estate of inheritance in lands, which is clogged or confined with some sort of condition or qualification. Such estates are base or qualified fees, conditional fees, and fees-taii. The term is-'opposed to "fee-simple." 2 Bl. Comm. 109; Lott v. Wyckoff, 1 Barb. (N. Y.) 575; Paterson v. Ellis, 11 Wend. (N. Y.) 259
    —Plowman's fee. In old English law, this was a species of tenure peculiar to peasants or small farmers, somewhat like gavelkind, by which the lands descended in equal shares to ali the sons of the tenant.
    —Qualified fee. In English law. A fee having a qualification subjoined thereto, and which must be determined whenever the qualification annexed to it is at an end ; otherwise termed a "base fee." 2 Bl. Comm. 109; 1 Steph. Comm. 225. An interest which may continue forever, but is liable to be determined, without the aid of a conveyance by some act or event, circumscribing its continuance or extent. 4 Kent, Comm. 9; Moody v. Walker. 3 Ark. 190; U. S. v. Reese, 27 Fed. Cas. 744; Bryan v. Spires, 3 Brewst. (Pat) 583.
    —Quasi fee. An estate gained by wrong ; for wrong is unlimited and uncontained within rules. Wharton.
    2. The word "fee" is also frequently used to denote the land which is held in fee.
    3. The compass or circuit of a manor or lordship. Coweli.
    4. In American law. A fee ls an estate Of inheritance without condition, belonging to the owner, and alienable by him, or transmissible to his heirs absolutely and simply. It is an absolute estate in perpetuity, and the largest possible estate a man can have, being, in fact, allodial in its nature. Earnest v. Little River Land, etc., Co.., 109 Tenn. 427, 75 S. W. 1122; Phoenix v. Emigration Co.m'rs, 12 How. Prae. (N. Y.) 10; United States Pipe-Line Co. v. Delaware, L. & W. R. Co., 62 N. J. Law, 254, 41 AtL 759, 42 In R. A. 572.
    5. A reward, compensation, or wage given to one for the performance of official duties (clerk of court, sheriff, etc.) or for professional services, as in the ease of an attorney at law or a physician.
    —Contingent fee. A fee stipulated to be paid to an attorney for his services in conducting a suit or other forensic proceeding only in case he wins it; it may be a percentage of the amount recovered.
    —Docket fee. See Docket.
    —Fee-bill. A schedule of the fees to be charged by clerks of courts, sheriffs, or other officers, for each particular service in the line of their duties.