lien (lēn, lēən)
1. A claim upon a part of another's property that arises because of an unpaid debt related to that property and that operates as an encumbrance on the property until the debt is satisfied.
2. The right to hold another's property as security for a debt owed.
[French, tie, bond, from Old French, constraint, from Latin ligāmen, bond, from ligāre, to bind; see leig- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.