Definition of nemo dat in US English:

nemo dat

(also nemo dat quod non habet)


  • The basic principle that a person who does not own property, especially a thief, cannot confer it on another except with the true owner's authority.

    • ‘My PhD thesis is a comparative analysis of the USA and UK approaches to the exceptions to the rule of nemo dat quod non habet in the sale of goods.’
    • ‘Other Kansas cases also recognize the principle of nemo dat in commercial transactions.’
    • ‘And in addition to the essays, a problem question regarding the exceptions to nemo dat (a man can't give good title, unless he has the title to give) and another problem question concerning the Sale of Goods Act.’
    • ‘Thus, the rule nemo dat quod non habet applies to a bill of exchange subject to considerable modifications.’
    • ‘It is at the consummation stage where the principle of nemo dat quod non habet applies.’


Latin, literally ‘no one gives (what he or she does not have)’.


nemo dat

/ˈnāmō ˈdat/