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

    Any estate of inheritance or for life in either a corporeal or incorporeal hereditament existing in or arising from real property of free tenure. See 18 Colo. 298, 36 Am. St. Rep. 280, 33 Pac. 144.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    An estate in land or other real property, of uncertain duration; that is, either of inheritance or which may possibly last for the life of the tenant at the least, (as distinguished from a leasehold;) and held by a free tenure, (as distinguished from copyhold or villeinage.) Nevitt v. Woodburn, 175 111. 376, 51 N. E. 593; Railroad Co., v. Hemphill, 35 Miss. 22; Nellis v. Munson, 108 N. Y. 453, 15 N. E. 739; Jones v. Jones, 20 Ga, 700. Such an interest in lands of frank-tenement ab may endure not only during the owner's life, but which is cast after his death upon the persons who successively represent him, according to certain miles elsewhere explained. Such persons are called "heirs," and he whom they thus represent, the "ancestor." When the interest extends beyond the ancestor's life, it is called a "freehold of inheritance," and, when it only endures for the ancestor's life, it is a freehold not of inheritance. An estate to be a freehold must possess these two qualities:
    (1) Immobility, that is, the property must be either land or some interest issuing out of or annexed to land; and
    (2) indeterminate duration, foe, if the utmost period of time to which an estate can endure be fixed and determined, it cannot be a freehold. Wharton.
    —Determinable freeholds. Estates for life, which may determine upon future contingencies before the life for which they are created expires. As if an estate be granted to a woman during her widowhood, or to a man until he Jbe promoted to a benefice; in these and similar cases, whenever the contingency happens,
    —when the widow marries, or when the grantee obtains the benefice,
    —the respective estates are absolutely determined and gone. Yet, while they subsist, they are reckoned estates for life; because they may by possibility last for life, if the contingencies upon which they are to determine do not sooner happen. 2 Bl. Comm. 121.
    —Freehold in law. A freehold which has descended to a man, upon which he may enter at pleasure, but which he has not entered on. Termes de la Ley.
    —Freehold land societies. Societies in England designed for the purpose of enabling mechanics, artisans, and other working-men to purchase at the least possible price a piece of freehold land of a sufficient yearly value to entitle the owner to the elective franchise for the county in which the land is situated. Wharton.
    —Freeholder. A person who possesses a freehold estate. Shively v. Lankford, 174 Mo. 535, 74 S. W. 835; Wheldon v. Cornett, 4 Neb. (Unof.) 421. 94 N. W. 626; People v Scott, 8 Hun (N. Y.) 507.