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To deliver Personal Property to another as a pledge or as security for a debt. A deposit of goods with a creditor as security for a sum of money borrowed.

In common usage, pawn signifies a pledge of goods, as distinguished from a pledge of intangible personal property, such as a contract right. In a more limited sense, it denotes a deposit of personal property with a pawnbroker as security for a loan. A pawned article is retained until the loan is repaid within a certain time. If it is not repaid on time, the pawnbroker may sell the item.

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


v. to pledge an item of personal property as security for a loan, with the property left with the pawn broker. The interest rates are on the high side, the amount of the loan is well below the value of the pledged property, and the broker has the right to sell the item without further notice if the loan is not paid. Pawn brokers are licensed by the state. (See: pledge)

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


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

PAWN. A pledge. Vide Pledge.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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