Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (idiomatic, obsolete, informal) An estate held by a man during his wife's life.
1872, W. O. von Horn, The Rhine: History and Legends of Its Castles, Abbeys, Monasteries, and Towns, J. Niedner, pages 270:
- He resided at Staleck and the fief made was converted into an "apron-string hold" and hereditary fief, for the benefit of his wife and daughter; for that in opposition to the Emperor himself, he had remained firm to the Archbishop in a Diet held at Mainz.
- The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue / Lexicon Balatronicum: A Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence: altered and enlarged (London; 1811)