The word estate is mostly used to mean a massive and fabulous house on a big piece of land. When you own an estate, it usually means you have a whole lot of money to go along with it.

While an estate refers mostly to land and a house on it, it can also refer to all of a person’s possessions — and this sense of the word is often used after someone has died to refer to everything they are leaving behind. “You are set to inherit half of your grandfather’s estate, which includes his entire collection of stuffed raccoons.” In the past (and sometimes still) estate was also used to refer to someone’s state or condition, as well as his or her social standing.

Definitions of estate
  1. noun
    extensive landed property (especially in the country) retained by the owner for his own use
    “the family owned a large estate on Long Island”
    synonyms: acres, demesne, land, landed estate
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    an estate held in fee simple or for life
    plot of land belonging to an English parish church or an ecclesiastical office
    land or property held under a lease
    a piece of land under 50 acres that is sold or let to someone for cultivation
    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
    the estate of a baron
    an estate in the country
    Crown land
    land that belongs to the Crown
    the landed estate of a lord (including the house on it)
    seigneury, seigniory, signory
    the estate of a seigneur
    a large estate in Spanish-speaking countries
    an estate where cash crops are grown on a large scale (especially in tropical areas)
    land received by fee tail
    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
  2. noun
    everything you own; all of your assets (whether real property or personal property) and liabilities
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    gross estate
    the total valuation of the estate's assets at the time of the person's death
    net estate
    the estate remaining after debts and funeral expenses and administrative expenses have been deducted from the gross estate; the estate then left to be distributed (and subject to federal and state inheritance taxes)
    estate for life, life estate
    (law) an estate whose duration is limited to the life of the person holding it
    jointure, legal jointure
    (law) an estate secured to a prospective wife as a marriage settlement in lieu of a dower
    a life estate to which a wife is entitled on the death of her husband
    type of:
    belongings, holding, property
    something owned; any tangible or intangible possession that is owned by someone
  3. noun
    a major social class or order of persons regarded collectively as part of the body politic of the country (especially in the United Kingdom) and formerly possessing distinct political rights
    synonyms: estate of the realm, the three estates
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    Lords Spiritual, first estate
    the clergy in France and the heads of the church in Britain
    Lords Temporal, second estate
    the nobility in France and the peerage in Britain
    Commons, third estate
    the common people
    fourth estate
    the press, including journalists, newspaper writers, photographers
    type of:
    class, social class, socio-economic class, stratum
    people having the same social, economic, or educational status
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