Allodium “Legally” Defined

The following definitions for “allodium” are taken from Ballantine’s Law Dictionary (3rd edition), Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (6th edition), Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd edition), and Webster’s Dictionary (1828):




An allodial estate; an estate not held under a superior.



Signifies an absolute estate of inheritance, in contradistinction to a feud.

In this country, the title to land is essentially allodial, and every tenant in fee simple has an absolute and perfect title, yet in technical language his estate is called an estate in fee simple, and the tenure free and common socage [3 Kent, Com. 390; Cruise, Prel. Dis. C. 1, 13; 2 Bl. Com. 45; For the etymology of this word, vide 3 Kent Com. 298 note; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1692].



Land held absolutely in one’s own right, and not of any lord of superior; land not subject to feudal duties or burdens.

An estate held by absolute ownership, without recognizing any superior to whom any duty is due on account thereof [1 Washb. Real Prop. 16. McCartee v. Orphan Asylum, 9 Cow. (N.Y.) 511, 18 Am. Dec. 516].



ALLO’DIUM, n. Freehold estate; land which is the absolute property of the owner; real estate held in absolute independence, without being subject to any rent, service, or acknowledgement to a superior. It is this opposed to feud. In England, there is no allodial land, all land being held of the king; but in the United States, most lands are allodial.

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