alod (ăˈlŏd) [key]. In feudal tenure, lands held without obligation to any suzerain (overlord) were termed held in alod. Alodial lands existed in England and on the Continent. They became less common as landowners sought protection by turning their lands over to more powerful lords and receiving the holdings back as fiefs. In modern times the distinction between fee simple (see tenure) and alod has vanished.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.