Hy`po*the"ca (?), n. [L., fr. Gr. a thing subject to some obligation, fr. to put under, put down, pledge. See Hypothesis.] Rom.Law
An obligation by which property of a debtor was made over to his creditor in security of his debt.
⇒ It differed from pledge in regard to possession of the property subject to the obligation; pledge requiring, simple hypotheca not requiring, possession of it by the creditor. The modern mortgage corresponds very closely with it.
© Webster 1913.