property

Introduction

property, rights to the enjoyment of things of economic value, whether the enjoyment is exclusive or shared, present or prospective. The rightful possession of such rights is called ownership. Ownership necessarily is supported by correlative rights to exclude others from enjoyment. By extension of usage, the things in which one has property rights are called one's property; thus the person who holds title to a house, even though there is a mortgage outstanding, calls it his or her "property."

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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