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title n

[Anglo-French, inscription, legal right, from Old French, from Latin titulum inscription, chapter heading, part of the law that sanctions an action]
1 a : the means or right by which one owns or possesses property
: the quality of ownership as determined by a body of facts and events

after-acquired title
: title that vests automatically in a grantee when acquired by a grantor who purported to sell the property before acquiring title
: a doctrine that requires such vesting compare estoppel by deed at estoppel NOTE: The doctrine of after-acquired title generally does not apply when the grantor receives title by quitclaim deed; to vest title in the grantee the deed must include words expressing such an intention.

clear title
: title that exists free of claims or encumbrances on the property [had clear title to the farm]
: marketable title in this entry

equitable title
: title vested in one who is considered by the application of equitable principles to be the owner of property even though legal title is vested in another [the purchaser under a contract for sale had equitable title to and an insurable interest in the property]
: the right to receive legal title upon performance of an obligation

good title
: title to property (as a negotiable instrument or real property) that is valid in fact or law or beyond a reasonable doubt [a holder in due course acquires good title to the item]
: marketable title in this entry

In·di·an title
: title held by American Indians that consists of the right to occupy certain land with the permission of the United States government [appears to be no question that Congress may limit or extinguish Indian title , and any rights appurtenant to the title, without obtaining the consent of the Indian peoples "In re Rights to Use Water in Big Horn River Sys. , 753 P.2d 76 (1988)"] compare reservation

just title
in the civil law of Louisiana
: a juridical act (as a sale or donation) sufficient to transfer ownership or a real right
: the title that derives from such an act [have a just title ] NOTE: For the purposes of acquisitive prescription, the requirement of just title is satisfied by an act that would have been sufficient to transfer ownership if it had been executed by the true owner.

legal title
: title that is determined or recognized as constituting formal or valid ownership (as by virtue of an instrument) even if not accompanied by possession or use [the trustee held legal title to the property] [retained legal title to the goods until the debt was paid] compare legal interest at interest

lu·cra·tive title
: title to property acquired by gift, succession, or inheritance [the property acquired by lucrative title remained the separate property of the spouse]

marketable title
: title that is subject to no reasonable doubt as to its validity or freedom from encumbrance and that can be reasonably sold, purchased, or mortgaged [seller warrants that seller has marketable title to the property]
: title of such quality that a purchaser under contract should be compelled to accept it called also merchantable title NOTE: Clear title and good title are commonly used to indicate marketable title.

onerous title
1 in the civil law of Louisiana
: title that depends on the giving of consideration for the property
2 : title to property that is acquired through the labor or skill of a spouse and is included in community property

paper title
: title shown on a document [had an equitable interest in the property though paper title was held by her husband]

par·a·mount title
: title that renders inferior any other title to the property [warranted that the purchaser would have quiet enjoyment free from disturbance by one holding paramount title ]

particular title
in the civil law of Louisiana
: title by which one possesses or owns particular property received (as by purchase, gift, or legacy) before or after the death of an ancestor [a successor by particular title does not continue the possession of his ancestor "A. N. Yiannopoulos"] see also particular legacy at legacy compare universal title in this entry

record title
: title shown on the public record

tax title
: title obtained by the purchaser of property at a tax sale
: title held by a governmental body to property seized because of tax delinquency

universal title
: title acquired by the conveyance causa mortis of a specified proportion (as one-fourth) of all of the conveyor's property interests or all of a specified type of the conveyor's property interests esp. so that upon the conveyor's death the recipient stands as a universal successor [was a legatee under universal title ]
b : an instrument (as a deed) that is evidence of ownership
c : certificate of title [paid tax and fees]
2 a : the name or heading of something (as a proceeding, statute, or book)
b often cap
: a division of a statutory or regulatory code or of an act [Title IX]

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.