\ \ [14] Ultimately, demesne is the same word as domain. It comes via Old French demeine from Latin dominicus, an adjective meaning ‘of a lord’ (see DOMINION), and hence etymologically means ‘land belonging to a lord’.
\ \ Under the feudal system it denoted land retained by the lord for his own use, rather than let out to tenants. The -s- was inserted into the word in Anglo-Norman, partly as a graphic device to indicate a long vowel and partly through association with Old French mesniehousehold’, which came ultimately from Latin mansioplace to stay’ (source of English mansion).

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • demesne — I noun acquest, chattels real, domain, dominion, empire, estate, freehold, hereditament, holding, land, landed estate, landed property, manor, one s own land, property, real estate, real property, realm, realty associated concepts: demesne lands… …   Law dictionary

  • Demesne — De*mesne , n. [OE. demeine, demain, rule, demesne, OF. demeine, demaine, demeigne, domaine, power, F. domaine domain, fr. L. dominium property, right of ownership, fr. dominus master, proprietor, owner. See {Dame}, and cf. {Demain}, {Domain},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • demesne — c.1300, demeyne (modern spelling by late 15c.), from Anglo Fr. demesne, demeine, O.Fr. demaine land held for a lord s own use, from L. dominicus belonging to a master, from dominus lord. Re spelled by Anglo Fr. legal scribes under influence of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • demesne — ► NOUN 1) historical land attached to a manor. 2) archaic a domain. ORIGIN from Old French demeine belonging to a lord , from Latin dominus lord, master …   English terms dictionary

  • demesne — [di mān′; ] also [, dimēn′] n. [ME & OFr demeine < L dominium (see DOMAIN); sp. altered by assoc. with OFr mesnee, household < L mansio: see MANSION] 1. Law possession (of real estate) in one s own right 2. Historical the land or estate… …   English World dictionary

  • Demesne — Conjectural map of a feudal manor. The brown areas are part of the demesne, the shaded areas part of the glebe . The manor house, residence of the lord and location of the manorial court, can be seen in the mid southern part of the manor In the… …   Wikipedia

  • Demesne — The part of the lord s manorial lands reserved for his own use and not allocated to his serfs or freeholder tenants. Serfs worked in the demesne for a specified numbers of days per week. The demesne could either be scattered among the serfs land …   Medieval glossary

  • demesne — demesnial, adj. /di mayn , meen /, n. 1. possession of land as one s own: land held in demesne. 2. an estate or part of an estate occupied and controlled by, and worked for the exclusive use of, the owner. 3. land belonging to and adjoining a… …   Universalium

  • demesne — UK [dɪˈmeɪn] / US noun [countable] Word forms demesne : singular demesne plural demesnes in the past, a large house and the land that belonged to it …   English dictionary

  • demesne — /damiyn/dameyn/ Domain; dominical; held in one s own right, and not of a superior; not allotted to tenants. In the language of pleading, own; proper; original. Thus, son assault demesne, his own assault, his assault originally or in the first… …   Black's law dictionary

  • demesne — n. 1 a a sovereign s or State s territory; a domain. b land attached to a mansion etc. c landed property; an estate. 2 (usu. foll. by of) a region or sphere. 3 Law hist. possession (of real property) as one s own. Phrases and idioms: held in… …   Useful english dictionary

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