The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

MERGER Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

The fusion or absorption of one thing or right into another; generally spoken of a case where one of the subjects is of less dignity or importance than the other. Here the less important ceases to have an independent existence. In real-property law. It Is a general principle of law that where a greater estate and a less coincide and meet in one and the same person, without any intermediate estate, the less is immediately annihilated, or, in the law phrase, is said to be merged, that is, sunk or drowned, in the greater. Thus, if there be tenant for years, and the reversion in fee-simple descends to or is purchased by him, the term of years is merged in the Inheritance, and shall never exist any more. 2 Bl. Comm. 177; 1 Steph. Comm. 293; 4 Kent, Comm. 99. James v. Morey, 2 Cow. (N. Y.) 300, 14 Am. Dec. 475; Duncan v. Smith, 31 N. J. Law, 327. Of rights. This term, as applied to rights, is equivalent to “eonfusio” in the Roman law, and indicates that where the qualities of debtor and creditor become united in the same individual, there arises a confusion of rights which extinguishes both qualities; whence, also, merger is often called “extinguishment.” Brown. Rights of action. In the law relating to rights of action, when a person takes or acquires a remedy or security of a higher nature, in legal estimation, than the one which he already possesses for the same right, then his remedies in respect of the minor right or security merge in those attaching to the higher one. Leake, County. 500; 10 C. B. 501. As where a claim is merged in the judgment recovered upon it. In criminal law. When a man commits a great crime which includes a lesser, or commits a felony which includes a tort against a private person, the latter is merged in the former. 1 East, P. C. 411. Of corporations. A merger of corporations consist in the uniting of two or more corporations by the transfer of property of all to one of them, which continues in ex- istence, the others being swallowed up or merged therein. In regard to the survivorship of one of the constituent corporations, it differs from a “consolidation,” wherein all the consolidating companies surrender their separate existence and become parts of a new corporation. Adams v. Yazoo & M. V. R. Co., 77 Miss. 194, 24 South. 200, 00 L. R. A. 33; Vicksburg & Y. C. Tel. Co. v. Citizens’ Tel. Co., 79 Miss. 341, 30 South. 725, 89 Am. St. Rep. 056.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.