Easement, a privilege which the owner of one tenement, called the dominant tenement, has in respect to another, called the servient tenement, by which he may require the owner of the latter to permit something to be done thereon, or to refrain from doing something, which otherwise as owner he would be entitled to do. It must be defined and limited in extent, and it must in some way be for the benefit of the dominant tenement, and not for some general benefit to the owner. Among the principal easements are rights of way, the right to carry water or to obtain light or air over the adjoining lands, the right to support of land or buildings by adjacent land or buildings, the right to have party walls and fences kept in repair, etc. In general, they must be created by deed or established by prescription, though every man has a natural right to the support of his land by the adjacent land of another, but not to the support of the artificial structures he may rear upon the land. Easements are lost by release, by abandonment, or by the dominant and servient tenements becoming united in the same ownership.
Public rights over the lands of private individuals, for purposes of travel and the like, are often spoken of as public easements.