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n. The act of forfeiting; the loss of some right, privilege, estate, honor, office, or effects, by an offense, crime, breach of condition, or other act. That which is forfeited; a penalty; a fine or mulct. A divestiture of property without compensation, in consequence of a default or an offense. The taking of an individual's property by a government, because the individual has committed a crime. The right of a feudal lord to recover a fief when a vassal failed to honor his obligations. A relinquishment of a right because of the failure to perform some obligation or condition contained in a contract.


Syn. - Fine; mulct; amercement; penalty. Punishment, torts.


The Restatement uses the term forfeiture to mean the denial of compensation to an obligee because of the non-occurrence of a condition after the obligee has relied substantially on the expectation of the bargained-for exchange, either by preparation or performance. [Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 227 cmt. b (1981)]. 'When it is said that courts do not favor forfeitures, the meaning is that they do not like to see a party to a contract getting something for nothing.' 3A Arthur Linton Corbin, Corbin on ...

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