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From Middle English appurtenaunce, from Anglo-Norman apurtenance and Old French apartenance, from apartenir, from Latin appertineō (I belong, I appertain). Equivalent to appertain +‎ -ance. More at appertain.


  • (Northern California, US)


appurtenance (plural appurtenances)

  1. That which appertains; an appendage to something else; an addition.
  2. (in the plural) Equipment used for some specific task; gear.
    • 1693, [William] Congreve, The Old Batchelour, a Comedy. [], 2nd edition, London: [] Peter Buck, [], →OCLC, Act II, scene ii, page 14:
      Araminta, come I'll talk ſeriouſly to you now, could you but ſee vvith my Eyes the buffoonry of one Scene of Addreſs, a Lover, ſet out with all his Equipage and Appurtenances; []
    • 2013 July 6, Steven Poole, “Is our love of nature writing bourgeois escapism?”, in The Guardian[1]:
      In the case of the urban consumer of nature writing, of course, the mud is to be hosed off one's mental Range Rover immediately one lifts one's eyes from the page and gives silent thanks for the civilised appurtenances of hot yoga and flat whites.
    • 2014 August 2, Teddy Wayne, “A Parchment on Millennials”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      These “millennials” are, without a doubt, the most narcissistic and hopeless cohort I have witnessed in my 35 long years on this stationary planet. Consider, first, their absurd sartorial appurtenances, such as leggings sewn with skinny girths.
  3. (law) A subordinate interest in land which benefits a principal estate, which cannot be detached from or held separately to that estate; an appurtenant interest.
    Synonym: contenement
    • 1908, Samuel Charles Wiel, Water Rights in the Western States, page 340:
      It is well settled that a water right may pass with land as an appurtenance thereto, or as a parcel thereof.
    • 2019, Michèle Schindler, Lovell our Dogge:
      Also I will that anon after the said nine years after my decease determined that my said feoffees make estate of all the said manors, lands and tenements with the appurtenance to my next heir and to the heirs of his body lawfully begotten.
  4. (grammar) A modifier that is appended or prepended to another word to coin a new word that expresses belonging.
  5. The state or quality of being an appurtenance.
    • 1970, United States. Congress. Senate. Interior and Insular Affairs, Outer Continental Shelf, page 275:
      Thus, these two characteristics — appurtenance and the lack of need for any act of acquisition - go together and depend upon each other; one is merely looking at different facets of the same thing.
    • 2005, Jaan Valsiner, Heinz Werner and Developmental Science, page 262:
      A second father is Kurt Koffka for his principle of appurtenance that he expanded from motions to colors.

Related terms[edit]