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A testamentary disposition of land or realty; a gift of real property by the last will and testament of the donor. When used as a noun, it means a testamentary disposition of real or Personal Property, and when used as a verb, it means to dispose of real or personal property by will. To contrive; plan; scheme; invent; prepare.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1) v. an old-fashioned word for giving real property by a will, as distinguished from words for giving personal property. 2) n. the gift of real property by will. (See: gift, bequest, legacy, remise, will)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


to dispose of property by will.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

DEVISE. A devise is a disposition of real property by a person's last will and testament, to tale effect after the testator's death.
     2. Its form is immaterial, provided the instrument is to take effect after the death of the party; and a paper in the form of an indenture, which is to have that effect, is considered as a devise. Finch. 195 6 Watts, 522; 3 Rawle, 15; 4 Desaus. 617, 313; 1 Mod. 117; 1 Black. R. 345.
     3. The term devise, properly and technically, applies only to real estate the object of the devise must therefore be that kind of property. 1 Hill. Ab. ch. 36, n. 62 to 74. Devise is also sometimes improperly applied to a bequest or legacy. (q.v.) Vide 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2095, et seq; 4 Kent, Com. 489 8 Vin. Ab. 41 Com. Dig. Estates by Devise.
     4. In the Year Book, 9 H. VI. 24, b. A. D. 1430, Babington says, the nature of a devise, when lands are devisable, is, that one can devise that his lands shall be sold by executors and this is good. And a devise in such form has always been in use. And so a man may have frank tenement of him who had nothing, in the same manner as one may have fire from a flint, and yet there is no fire in the flint. But it is to perform the last will of the devisor.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Because it appeared that they could not be characterized as types of Christ, women presented some difficulties for pageant devisers (Chapter 6), and they responded to the challenge in a variety of ways.
According to Riazuddin (1993), Qaisar (1974), Khurshid (1977), Usmani (1982), Ibrahim, (1981 & 82), Rizwi, (1975 & 1996) and Khan (2004), the devisers of standard and internationally known library classification systems were from western or non Muslim countries.
They are artistic directors of their own company, Third Angel, but, as Kelly explains, "We are also performers, directors, designers, writers and devisers. There is always one of us in every show we do."
According to Holinshed (in a passage translated from Polydore Vergil's Latin Historia Anglica), the garter that fell from a lady's leg, occasioning unwanted levity and provoking the king to found "so noble an order" from so "base and meane" a beginning, might have belonged to "some ladie with whom he was in loue"--a lady whom Holinshed in a marginal note identifies with "The countes of Salisburie." (14) Holinshed no-where gives an account of this supposed relationship, but his tantalizing mention of the countess, as Melchiori points out, could have prompted the deviser (or devisers) of the plot to turn to Froissart and eventually Painter for the story behind the one-sided love affair.
At Greenwich, the boat turned abruptly in the water, and I could see halfway around the next river bend the distant blue gasometer, situated in the midst of wasteland spoiled by gas seepage, marking the spot where the millennium would be celebrated with lasers and ancient objects in a ritual mixing of the old and new that its devisers somehow hoped would identify and preserve some portion of the national genius for the next few hundred years.
(9) Female participants in elite domestic drama could enjoy an analogous 'liberty by privatenesse', whether as translators (Lady Jane Lumley, Mary Sidney); authors of original drama (Elizabeth Cary, Mary Wroth); or devisers (Elizabeth Russell, Mary Sidney).
(6) Peter Davidson and Jane Stevenson, 'Elizabeth I's Reception at Bisham (1592): Elite Women as Writers and Devisers', Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Goldring, and Sarah Knight (eds), The Progresses, Pageants, and Entertainments of Queen Elizabeth I (Oxford, 2007), 223-4.
Expounding their concept of female devisership, Davidson and Stevenson observe that: 'the person above all whose life and work becomes more comprehensible if she is identified as a deviser is Lady Anne Clifford ...
Written by Andrea Earl with the company acting as devisers, it is a complex and not always comprehensible story.
(17) Despite this tendency towards more specificity, traditional devisers found plenty of work in the seventeenth century.
There is a good amount of evidence to show how devisers of the revels communicated their devices to the artists and artisans that were to produce them.
All the creation pageants invite ingenuity of design, and the devisers of the sets in this sequence did not disappoint.