Abstract Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Abstract, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Abstract?

n. it is a brief statement of the most important points of a long legal document or of several related legal papers. Most common usage involves real estate transactions enlisting all the owners of a property before it came into possession of the present owner.

History and Meaning of Abstract

An abstract, in legal terminology, is a brief summary of the most crucial points of a lengthier legal document or several related legal papers. The use of abstracts in law is quite common and extends to a wide range of different applications. The most common one is in the context of real estate transactions, where it is used to enlist all the property's previous owners before it came into the possession of the current one. The abstract can cover a wide range of information, including deeds, leases, mortgages, tax liens and judgments, mineral rights, and more.

In essence, an abstract is a concise summary of a longer legal document. It helps people to quickly understand the key points of a legal agreement, so they don't have to read through the entire document to extract the most significant information.

Examples of Abstract

Here are a few examples of how abstracts are used in different contexts:

  • In real estate transactions, an abstract is used to give a summary of the chain of title.

  • In patents, an abstract is used to provide a brief, clear description of what the patent covers.

  • In academic publishing, an abstract is a summary of a research paper.

  • In court cases, an abstract may summarize the legal arguments or issues involved.

Legal Terms Similar to Abstract

Here are some legal terms that are related to abstracts:

  1. Deed: A legal document that transfers ownership of property from one person to another.

  2. Lien: A legal claim against property, usually as collateral for a debt.

  3. Lease: A contract between a property owner and a tenant, outlining the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

  4. Mortgage: A loan used to buy a property, which uses the property as collateral.

  5. Title: The legal right to own property.