demesne

In medieval Europe, a demesne was the part of a lord's land that he kept for his own use. These days, it's more often used to mean "property" or "territory."

The term demesne was originally used to distinguish land totally controlled by a lord from areas that were turned over to tenants. Demesne lands were often farmed and tended by serfs, with the profits or crops going to the lord and his family. Demesne comes from the Latin dominicus, "belonging to a master," and its root domus, "house," which it shares with domicile.

Definitions of demesne
  1. noun
    territory over which rule or control is exercised
    synonyms: domain, land
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    types:
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    archduchy
    the domain controlled by an archduke or archduchess
    barony
    the domain of a baron
    duchy, dukedom
    the domain controlled by a duke or duchess
    earldom
    the domain controlled by an earl or count or countess
    emirate
    the domain controlled by an emir
    empire, imperium
    the domain ruled by an emperor or empress; the region over which imperial dominion is exercised
    fiefdom
    the domain controlled by a feudal lord
    grand duchy
    the domain controlled by a grand duke or grand duchess
    viscounty
    the domain controlled by a viscount or viscountess
    khanate
    the realm of a khan
    kingdom, realm
    the domain ruled by a king or queen
    princedom, principality
    territory ruled by a prince
    sheikdom, sheikhdom
    the domain ruled by a sheik
    suzerainty
    the domain of a suzerain
    type of:
    region
    a large indefinite location on the surface of the Earth
  2. noun
    extensive landed property (especially in the country) retained by the owner for his own use
    synonyms: acres, estate, land, landed estate
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    types:
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    freehold
    an estate held in fee simple or for life
    glebe
    plot of land belonging to an English parish church or an ecclesiastical office
    leasehold
    land or property held under a lease
    smallholding
    a piece of land under 50 acres that is sold or let to someone for cultivation
    homestead
    land acquired from the United States public lands by filing a record and living on and cultivating it under the homestead law
    feoff, fief
    a piece of land held under the feudal system
    barony
    the estate of a baron
    countryseat
    an estate in the country
    Crown land
    land that belongs to the Crown
    manor
    the landed estate of a lord (including the house on it)
    seigneury, seigniory, signory
    the estate of a seigneur
    hacienda
    a large estate in Spanish-speaking countries
    plantation
    an estate where cash crops are grown on a large scale (especially in tropical areas)
    entail
    land received by fee tail
    orangery
    a place where oranges are grown; a plantation of orange trees in warm climes or a greenhouse in cooler areas
    type of:
    immovable, real estate, real property, realty
    property consisting of houses and land
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