Etymology
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No results were found for inalterable. Showing results for inalienable.
inalienable (adj.)
"that cannot be given up," 1640s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + alienable (adj.). Perhaps from French inaliénable (16c.). Related: Inalienably; Inalienability.
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imprescriptible (adj.)
"inalienable, not subject to law or convention," 1560s, from French imprescriptible (16c.) or a native formation from assimilated form of in- (1) "not, opposite of" + Latin praescriptus, past participle of praescribere "to write beforehand, determine in advance, ordain, dictate" (see prescribe). Usually with right (n.). Related: Imperscriptibility. Alternative imprescribable is attested from 1887.
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mortmain (n.)

"inalienable ownership," mid-15c., from Anglo-French morte mayn (mid-14c.), Old French mortemain, literally "dead hand," from Medieval Latin mortua manus; for first element see mortal (adj.); second is from PIE root *man- (2) "hand." Probably a metaphorical expression on the notion of dead hands as those that cannot alienate.

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