Last modified on 24 May 2014, at 12:26

chattel

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English chatel, from Old French chatel, from Medieval Latin capitāle (English capital), from Latin capitālis (of the head), from caput (head) + -alis (-al). Compare cattle (cows), which is from an Anglo-Norman variant. Compare also capital and kith and kine (all one’s possessions), which also use “cow” to mean “property”.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

chattel (comparative more chattel, superlative most chattel)

  1. Commonly used to describe the treatment of Russian serfs as property.

NounEdit

chattel (plural chattels)

  1. Tangible, movable property.
    • 1990, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, Corgi, p.387
      … although of course the firm had changed hands many times over the centuries, […] But the box has always been part of the chattels, as it were.
  2. A slave.

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