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Cadastral

Pronounced /kəˈdɑːstrəl/Help with pronunciation

A cadastral survey is one on a scale sufficiently large to accurately show the extent and measurement of every field or other block of land.

The most common reason for such a survey is as a basis for taxation, but in some countries, particularly the US, it is associated at least as strongly with the need to accurately identify land boundaries; for example, there is an active Cadastral Survey within the Bureau of Land Management in the USA, which is responsible for maintaining records of all public lands. Such surveys often required detailed investigation of the history of land use, legal accounts and other documents, so it often includes a fair amount of detective work in matching physical surveys with records.

The word came into English by way of French and Italian from the Greek katastikhon, a list or register, from kata stikhon, “line by line”.

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 15 Aug. 1998

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-cad1.htm
Last modified: 15 August 1998.