One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
with object To reinstall (a person) in possession of a freehold or fief in exchange for pledged homage and service; to return a freehold or fief to (the original freeholder). Also with land or property as object. Also without object: to return or reclaim a freehold or fief.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Collectanea Topographica and Genealogica. From re- + enfeoff (although this is first attested slightly later), after Anglo-Norman refeffer, refeoffer, reffeffer refeoff.
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