Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties.

The process and mechanics of ownership are fairly complex: one can gain, transfer, and lose ownership of property in a number of ways. To acquire property one can purchase it with money, trade it for other property, win it in a bet, receive it as a gift, inherit it, find it, receive it as damages, earn it by doing work or performing services, make it, or homestead it. One can transfer or lose ownership of property by selling it for money, exchanging it for other property, giving it as a gift, misplacing it, or having it stripped from one's ownership through legal means such as eviction, foreclosure, seizure, or taking. Ownership is self-propagating in that the owner of any property will also own the economic benefits of that property.


Over the millennia and across cultures, notions regarding what constitutes "property" and how it is treated culturally have varied widely. Ownership is the basis for many other concepts that form the foundations of ancient and modern societies such as money, trade, debt, bankruptcy, the criminality of theft, and private vs. public property. Ownership is the key building block in the development of the capitalist socio-economic system.[citation needed] Adam Smith stated that one of the sacred laws of justice was to guard a person's property and possessions.[1]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Mülkiyyət
башҡортса: Милек
беларуская: Уласнасць
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Уласнасьць
български: Собственост
čeština: Vlastnictví
Deutsch: Inhaber
فارسی: مالکیت
한국어: 소유권
हिन्दी: स्वामित्व
Bahasa Indonesia: Kepemilikan
עברית: בעלות
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಒಡೆತನ
қазақша: Меншік
lietuvių: Savininkas
日本語: 所有権
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Mulk
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਮਲਕੀਅਤ
polski: Własność
Simple English: Ownership
slovenščina: Imetnik
svenska: Ägande
українська: Власність
Tiếng Việt: Sở hữu
中文: 所有权