Mort"main` (?), n. [F. mort, morte, dead + main hand; F. main-morte. See Mortal, and Manual.] Law
Possession of lands or tenements in, or conveyance to, dead hands, or hands that cannot alienate.
⇒ The term was originally applied to conveyance of land made to ecclesiastical bodies; afterward to conveyance made to any corporate body.
© Webster 1913.