From Anglo-Norman aisement, easement, eisement, esament, esement, and Middle French aisement (“comfort, convenience, ease, facility, opportunity; a benefit, relief; a right to use land, a thing, etc.; a privy”), from aisier (“to put at ease; to facilitate”) + -ment (“-ment, suffix forming nouns, usually the action or state resulting from verbs”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈiːzm(ə)nt/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈizmənt/
- Hyphenation: ease‧ment
easement (plural easements)
- (law) The legal right to use another person's real property (real estate), generally in order to cross a part of the property, or to gain access to something on the property.
The power company has an easement to put their electricity poles along the edge of this land.
[1708, anonymous [attributed to John Rastell or William Rastell], “Easement”, in Les Termes de la Ley: Or, Certain Difficult and Obscure Words and Terms of the Common Laws and Statutes of this Realm now in Use, Expounded and Explained. Now Corrected and Enlarged. With many Great and Useful Additions throughout the Whole Book, never Printed in any other Impression, corr. and enl. edition, London: Printed by Samuel Roycroft and James Rawlins, assigns of Richard and Edward Atkins, Esquires, OCLC 79363545, page 278:
- Eaſement is a privilege that one Neighbour hath of another, by Writing or Preſcription, without profit; as a Way or a Sink through his Land, or ſuch like.]
1839, C[harles] J[ames] Gale; T[homas] D[enman] Whatley, “Introduction”, in A Treatise on the Law of Easements, London: Printed for S. Sweet, 1, Chancery Lane, law bookseller and publisher; Dublin: Hodges and Smith, OCLC 9086851, pages 1–2:
- [page 1] That branch of these accessorial rights which confers merely a convenience to be exercised over the neighbouring land, without any participation in the profit of it, is called, by the law of England, Easements, as rights to the passage of light, air, and water. […] [page 2] The origin of some easements is as ancient as that of property—one tenement may be subjected to the convenience of another by the hand of nature itself—the inferior elevation of one in relation to the other, may subject it to the fall of water from the higher ground.
1991, Theodore Steinberg, “Maturation: The Struggle over Water”, in Nature Incorporated: Industrialization and the Waters of New England, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-39215-0, page 133:
- The Lake Company actually had an easement – a right to flood some of this land – dating from 1845.
2002, William H. Pivar; Robert J[acques] Bruss, “Adjacent Property Rights”, in California Real Estate Law, 5th edition, Chicago, Ill.: Dearborn Real Estate Education, ISBN 978-0-7931-6080-8, page 383:
- Pacific Telephone had an easement "for the stringing of telephone and electric light and power wires" over the property of Salvaty.
2011, Marianne M. Jennings, “Nonpossessory Interests in Real Estate”, in Real Estate Law (South-Western Legal Studies in Business Academic Series; West Legal Studies in Business), 9th edition, Mason, Oh.: South-Western Cengage Learning, ISBN 978-1-4390-4031-7, page 75:
- The unrecorded document clearly granted an easement to the hallway and Watson had the document prior to closing.
- (architecture) An element such as a baseboard, handrail, etc., that is curved instead of abruptly changing direction.
1986, Jack P[ayne] Jones, “Designing and Building Stairs”, in Handbook of Construction Contracting, volume 1 (Plans, Specs, Building), Carlsbad, Calif.: Craftsman Book Company, ISBN 978-0-934041-11-9, page 240:
- The curved part of the rail where it joins the newel is called an easement. Often, however, the rail joins the newel without an easement.
2013, Floyd Vogt, Carpentry, 6th edition, Clifton Park, N.Y.: Delmar, Cengage Learning, ISBN 978-1-133-60736-6, page 932:
- In preparation for laying out the easement used to join the first- and second-flight handrails, tack a piece of plywood about 5 inches wide to the bottom side of the gooseneck fitting and the handrail of the first flight. These pieces are used to rest the connecting easement against when laying out the joint.
- (archaic) Easing, relief.
1611, anonymous [Giovanni Botero]; Robert Johnson, transl., “The Fourth Booke. Of Asya.”, in Relations, of the Most Famovs Kingdoms and Common-weales throvgh the World. Discoursing of their Scituations, Manners, Customes, Strengthes and Pollicies. Translated into English and Enlarged, with an Addition of the Estates of Venice, Saxony, Geneua, Hungary, and the East-Indies, in any Language never before Imprinted, London: Printed [by William Jaggard] for Iohn Iaggard, dwelling in Fleetstreet, at the Hand and Starre, betweene the two Temple gates, OCLC 51902932, pages 385–386:
- There are alſo many Deſerts, and many mountains diſioyning the prouinces farre aſſunder. Heerin it reſembleth Spain, where for want of Nauigable riuers (except towards the ſeacoaſt) trafficke is little vſed, and mountains and prouinces lie vnmanured for ſcarcity of moiſture. But Nature vnwilling that humaine life ſhould want any eaſement, hath ſo prouided for mutual commerce in theſe ſandy and barren places, that thorough the labour of Camels, the want of Nauigation is richly recompenced throughout Persia, and the bordering contries.
- 1666, John Bunyan, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners: Or, A Brief and Faithful Relation of the Exceeding Mercy of God in Christ, to His Poor Servant John Bvnyan. Wherein is Particularly Shewed, the Manner of His Conversion, His Fight and Trouble for Sin, His Dreadful Temptations, also how He Despaired of Gods Mercy, and how the Lord at Length thorow[sic, meaning through] Christ did Deliver Him from all the Guilt and Terrour that Lay upon Him. Whereunto is Added, a Brief Relation of His Call to the Work of the Ministry, of His Temptations therein, as also what He hath Met with in Prison. All which was Written by His own Hand there, and now Published for the Support of the Weak and Tempted People of God, London: Printed by George Larkin, OCLC 12787585; republished as Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners: Or, A Brief and Faithful Relation of the Exceeding Mercy of God in Christ, to His Poor Servant John Bunyan. Namely, in His Taking of Him out of the Dunghil, and Converting of Him to the Faith of His Blessed Son, Jesus Christ. Here is also particularly Shewed, what Sight of, and what Trouble He had for Sin; and also, what various Temptations he hath Met with and how God hath Carried Him through Them, 6th corr. edition, London: Printed for Nath. Ponder, at the Pea-cock in the Poultry, over against the Stocks-Market, 1688, OCLC 643954458, pages 92–93:
- But now, thought I, if this ſin is not unto death, then it is pardonable; therefore from this I have encouragement to come to God by Chriſt for mercy; to conſider the promiſe of forgiveneſs, as that which ſtands with open arms to receive me, as well as others. This therefore was a great eaſement to my mind; to wit, that my ſin was pardonable, that it was not the ſin unto death, […]
1796, Edmund Burke, A Letter from the Right Honourable Edmund Burke to a Noble Lord, upon the Attacks Made upon Him and His Pension, in the House of Lords, by the Duke of Bedford and the Earl of Lauderdale, Early in the Present Sessions of Parliament, London: Printed for J. Owen, No. 168, Piccadilly, and F[rancis] and C[harles] Rivington, No. 62, St. Paul's Church-yard, OCLC 65337431, pages 9–10:
- Money is made for the comfort and convenience of animal life. […] With ſubmiſſion to his Grace, I have not had more than ſufficient. As to any noble uſe, I truſt I know how to employ, as well as he, a much greater fortune than he poſſeſſes. In a more confined application, I certainly ſtand in need of every kind of relief and eaſement much more than he does.
- (archaic, euphemistic) The act of relieving oneself: defecating or urinating.
2011, Lucy Worsley, “The Whole World is a Toilet”, in If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home, London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 978-0-571-25954-0, page 153:
- [T]he lowest servants at Hampton Court used the great communal toilet capable of seating fourteen people at once named the ‘Common Jakes’ or the ‘Great House of Easement’. This giant facility discharged into a tank which was washed clean by the waters of the moat. Even so, the tank emitted a dreadful smell and frequently had to be scrubbed clean.
2013, Shirley McKay, “A Merry Month”, in Friend & Foe (A Hew Cullen Mystery), Edinburgh: Polygon, ISBN 978-1-84697-217-1:
- He lit candles in the passage next to Patrick's closet, where his lordship wrote his letters, did his easement, took his bath, and knelt on winter nights to say his blackest prayers.