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fee

fee


fee  (f)
n.
1. A fixed sum charged, as by an institution or by law, for a privilege: a license fee; tuition fees.
2. A charge for professional services: a surgeons fee.
3. A tip; a gratuity.
4. Law An inherited or heritable estate in land.
5.
a. In feudal law, an estate in land granted by a lord to his vassal on condition of homage and service. Also called feud2, fief.
b. The land so held.
tr.v. feed, fee·ing, fees
1. To give a tip to.
2. Scots To hire.
Idiom:
in fee Law
In absolute and legal possession.

[Middle English fe, from Old English feoh, cattle, goods, money, and from Anglo-Norman fee, fief (from Old French fie, fief, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English feoh); see peku- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: It is possible to see the idea of money taking hold of the human mind by studying a few words that express the notion of wealth or goods. The word fee now denotes money paid or received for a service rendered. Fee comes from Old English feoh, which has three meanings, all equally ancient: cattle, livestock; goods, possessions, movable property; money. The Germanic form behind the Old English is *fehu, which derives by Grimms Law from Indo-European *peku-, cattle. *Fehu is therefore a cognate of Latin pecu, cattle, also a direct descendant of Indo-European *peku-. Latin pecu has several derivatives that ultimately were borrowed into English. One was pecnia, money, the source of our word pecuniary. Another was pecliris, pertaining to ones peclium or property, the source of our word peculiar. Finally, our word peculator comes from yet a third derivative, pecltor, embezzler of public money, peculator.
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