One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An estate settled on a wife for the period during which she survives her husband, in lien of a dower.
- ‘The unmarried and widows often engaged in litigation related to marriage settlements, jointures, uses and trusts.’
- ‘Through an unusual jointure, announced in October, it became the dance programming division of the Trust.’
- ‘Brush and Rimbothorn ganged up in a rather pointless jointure to try and drench her.’
- ‘We must destroy them and we must form jointures and bring the best teachers and the best equipment under one roof.’
Middle English (in the sense ‘junction, joint’): from Old French, from Latin junctura (see juncture). In late Middle English the term denoted the joint holding of property by a husband and wife for life, whence the current sense.
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