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property Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun something owned; any tangible or intangible possession that is owned by someone;
    belongings; holding.
    • that hat is my property
    • he is a man of property
  2. noun a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class
    • a study of the physical properties of atomic particles
  3. noun any area set aside for a particular purpose
    • who owns this place?
    • the president was concerned about the property across from the White House
  4. noun a construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished
    attribute; dimension.
    • self-confidence is not an endearing property
  5. noun any movable articles or objects used on the set of a play or movie
    • before every scene he ran down his checklist of props

Prop"er*ty noun
OE. proprete, OF. propreté property, F. propreté neatness, cleanliness, propriété property, fr. L. proprietas. See Proper, a., and cf. Propriety.
plural Properties
  1. That which is proper to anything; a peculiar quality of a thing; that which is inherent in a subject, or naturally essential to it; an attribute; as, sweetness is a property of sugar.
    Property is correctly a synonym for peculiar quality; but it is frequently used as coextensive with quality in general. Sir W. Hamilton.
    ✍ In physical science, the properties of matter are distinguished to the three following classes: 1. Physical properties, or those which result from the relations of bodies to the physical agents, light, heat, electricity, gravitation, cohesion, adhesion, etc., and which are exhibited without a change in the composition or kind of matter acted on. They are color, luster, opacity, transparency, hardness, sonorousness, density, crystalline form, solubility, capability of osmotic diffusion, vaporization, boiling, fusion, etc. 2. Chemical properties, or those which are conditioned by affinity and composition; thus, combustion, explosion, and certain solutions are reactions occasioned by chemical properties. Chemical properties are identical when there is identity of composition and structure, and change according as the composition changes. 3. Organoleptic properties, or those forming a class which can not be included in either of the other two divisions. They manifest themselves in the contact of substances with the organs of taste, touch, and smell, or otherwise affect the living organism, as in the manner of medicines and poisons.
  2. An acquired or artificial quality; that which is given by art, or bestowed by man; as, the poem has the properties which constitute excellence.
  3. The exclusive right of possessing, enjoying, and disposing of a thing; ownership; title.
    Here I disclaim all my paternal care, Propinquity and property of blood. Shak.
    Shall man assume a property in man? Wordsworth.
  4. That to which a person has a legal title, whether in his possession or not; thing owned; an estate, whether in lands, goods, or money; as, a man of large property, or small property.
  5. pl. All the adjuncts of a play except the scenery and the dresses of the actors; stage requisites.
    I will draw a bill of properties. Shak.
  6. Propriety; correctness. Obs. Camden.
Prop"er*ty transitive verb
  1. To invest which properties, or qualities. Obs. Shak.
  2. To make a property of; to appropriate. Obs.
    They have here propertied me. Shak.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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