One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Roman law and many civil law jurisdictions: the right to hold property under a long-term or perpetual lease; a lease of this type.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Walter Raleigh (1554–1618), courtier, explorer, and author. From post-classical Latin emphyteusis tenure of a hereditary leasehold from Byzantine Greek ἐμϕύτευσις tenure with right to plant from ancient Greek ἐμϕυτεύειν to engraft, in Hellenistic Greek also to plant in a place (from ἐμ-, variant (before a labial) of ἐν- + ϕυτεύειν to plant from ϕυτόν plant: see phyto-)) + -σις.
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