Definition of personalty in English:



mass nounLaw
  • A person's personal property.

    Compare with realty
    • ‘The 1860 census is better suited to this purpose because its schedule for free inhabitants included property values for both realty and personalty.’
    • ‘However, I cannot conclude that the plaintiff took any appropriate measures to preserve her personalty once it was known to her that water seepage was occurring.’
    • ‘The transition from realty to personalty with the prospect of reincarnation as a corporeal hereditament does not seem to me to be relevant.’
    • ‘The rules about inheriting realty and personalty were very different.’
    • ‘He indicated that the English common-law distinction between realty and personalty is parallel to and interrelated with the traditional division of the factors.’
    assets, capital, wealth, riches, holdings, fortune, property, worth, resources, effects, possessions, belongings, things, goods, worldly goods, stuff, chattels, valuables
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (in the legal phrase in the personalty ‘for damages’): from Anglo-Norman French personaltie, from medieval Latin personalitas (see personality).