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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Easement \Ease"ment\, n. [OF. aisement. See Ease, n.]

  1. That which gives ease, relief, or assistance; convenience; accommodation.

    In need of every kind of relief and easement.

  2. (Law) A liberty, privilege, or advantage, which one proprietor has in the estate of another proprietor, distinct from the ownership of the soil, as a way, water course, etc. It is a species of what the civil law calls servitude.

  3. (Arch.) A curved member instead of an abrupt change of direction, as in a baseboard, hand rail, etc.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "compensation, redress," from Old French aisement "comfort, convenience; use, enjoyment," from aisier "to ease," from aise (see ease (n.)). The meaning "legal right or privilege of using something not one's own" is from early 15c.


n. 1 (senseid en legal right to use another person's property)(context legal English) legal right to use another person's property, generally in order to cross a part of the property, or to gain access to something on the property. 2 (context archaic English) relief, easing. 3 (context archaic euphemistic English) The act of relieve oneself: defecating or urinating 4 (context architecture English) A curved member instead of an abrupt change of direction, as in a baseboard, handrail, etc.

  1. n. (law) the privilege of using something that is not your own (as using another's land as a right of way to your own land)

  2. the act of reducing something unpleasant (as pain or annoyance); "he asked the nurse for relief from the constant pain" [syn: easing, alleviation, relief]


According to Section 4 of the UK Easement Act, "An easement is a right which the owner or occupier of certain land possesses, as such for the beneficial enjoyment of that land to do and continue to do something or to prevent or continue to prevent something being done, in or upon, or in respect of certain other land not his own." An easement is a non-possessory right to use and/or enter onto the real property of another without possessing it. It is "best typified in the right of way which one landowner, A, may enjoy over the land of another, B". It is similar to real covenants and equitable servitudes; in the United States, the Restatement (Third) of Property takes steps to merge these concepts as servitudes.

Easements are helpful for providing pathways across two or more pieces of property or allowing an individual to fish in a privately owned pond. An easement is considered as a property right in itself at common law and is still treated as a type of property in most jurisdictions.

The rights of an easement holder vary substantially among jurisdictions. Historically, the common law courts would enforce only four types of easement:

  • Right-of-way (easements of way)
  • Easements of support (pertaining to excavations)
  • Easements of "light and air"
  • Rights pertaining to artificial waterways

Modern courts recognize more varieties of easements, but these original categories still form the foundation of easement law.

Usage examples of "easement".

With the girl supporting him with one hand and beating an easement through the brush with the other they proceeded deeper into the thicket on the lip.

The plants are incredibly lush and hale and sometimes threaten to block off the whole easement from dining to living room, and the rope-handled Brazilian machete C.

And then, again, delays, dithers, and the easement to the bathroom is blocked.

Department of Agriculture for an easement to run just twenty feet of fiber-optic line between his house and the public road.

A few minutes later she punched out a Seattle telephone number for the contractor listed in the easement request, the one who had installed the miles of cable.

What happened however was that the long fight about trying to get these small easements and to prevent the wholesale scrapping of one vast front in order to conform to a rigid date upon the other led to prolonged, unsatisfactory operations in Italy.

We observed first what essential services apperception performs for the human mind in the acquisition of new ideas, and for what an extraordinary easement and unburdening the acquiring soul is indebted to it.

The lynk arc they stepped toward was a flocculation of metal-sharp radiance, a stillness of motion-sparks beneath the whitemetal ramps, the curved easements, and the black oval windows.

If her journey into the darkness had resulted in nothing more than running wild through the woods and the quarry until she had come to her senses and returned penitent to this house, she knew that her abasement would have been complete, but on her wings of flight she had stopped to sin and in doing so had gathered courage into her body, together with a new and extraordinary feeling of easement.

She felt, rather than perceived, the calm and certitude of all the muscular play of him, and she felt, too, the promise of easement and rest that was especially grateful and craved-for by one who had incessantly, for six days and at top-speed, ironed fancy starch.

And since I shall have none amendement Against my loss, I will have easement: By Godde's soul, it shall none, other be.

It would have been easily disposed of if the only rights which could be annexed to land were easements, such as a right of way.

It has already been observed that an easement of fencing may be annexed to land, and it was then asked what was the difference in kind between a right to have another person build such structures, and a right to have him repair structures already built.

He admired some of the pictures at the Louvre and most of the sculpture, preferred Sainte-Chapefle to Notre-Dame, took refuge from Sacr&Coeur in the Saint-Pieffe-de-Montmartre, spent an afternoon in Versailles, a day at Chartres, wandered through Les Halles (and ate one of the best luncheons he had in Paris in the packed company of solid merchants and stall-holders testing the meat and cheese they had sold that morning), explored the various little quartiers, looked at Paris from all sides of the Eiffel Tower, loitered at the bookstalls when he meant to be walking through more museums, got some almost-exercise in the parks, took in a couple of night clubs and three movies, tried several restaurants with stars before their names (he balanced this expenditure with bistros and Left Bank brayseries), and blessed the prevalence of the French caM as pleasant easement for tired feet.

The language of the law of easements was built up out of similes drawn from persons at a time when the noxoe deditio was still familiar.