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man·or / ˈmanər/ • n. (also manor house) a large country house with lands; the principal house of a landed estate. ∎  chiefly hist. (esp. in England and Wales) a unit of land, originally a feudal lordship, consisting of a lord's demesne and lands rented to tenants. ∎ hist. (in North America) an estate or district leased to tenants, esp. one granted by royal charter in a British colony or by the Dutch governors of what is now New York. DERIVATIVES: ma·no·ri·al / məˈnôrēəl/ adj.

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A house, a dwelling, or a residence.

Historically under english law, a manor was a parcel of land granted by the king to a lord or other high ranking person. Incident to every manor was the right of the lord to hold a court called the court baron, which was organized to maintain and enforce the services and duties that were owed to the lord of the manor. The lands that constituted the manor holdings included terrae tenementales, Latin for "tenemental lands," and terrae dominicales, Latin for "demesne lands." The lord gave the tenemental lands to his followers or retainers in freehold. He retained part of the demesne lands for his own use but gave part to tenants in copyhold—those who took possession of the land by virtue of the evidence or copy in the records of the lord's court. A portion of the demesne lands, called the lord's waste, served as public roads and common pasture land for the lord and his tenants.

The word manor also meant the privilege of having a manor with the jurisdiction of a court baron and the right to receive rents and services from the copyholders.



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manor Name for a type of unit, or estate, characteristic of medieval Europe. Typically, a manor was divided into the lord's demesne (on which the peasants were bound to labour) an area assigned to the peasants for their own use and an area of common land. The lord, or his steward, occupied the manor house.

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manor † mansion, country residence XIII; † mansion of a lord with the land appertaining XIV; territorial unit, orig. a feudal lordship XVI. ME. maner(e) — AN. maner, OF. maneir, (now) manoir dwelling, habitation, sb. use of maneir dwell:- L. manēre remain.
Hence manorial XVIII.