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Legal Definition and Related Resources of Dividend

Meaning of Dividend

A fund which is to be divided. A number or quantity which is to be divided by another. A sum of money to be divided among a number of persons especially the total sum payable as interest on a loan, or the profit of a joint stock company divided periodically among the holders. Also, the sum divided among the creditors of an insolvent estate . See In re Luken’s Estate, 246 F.2d 403.

Dividend Alternative Definition

A portion of the principal or profits divided among several owners of a thing. The term is usually applied to the division of the profits arising out of bank or other stodts, or to the division among the creditors of the effects of an insolvent estate. In another sense, according to some old authorities, it signifies one part of an indenture. A corporate profit set aside, declared and ordered by the directors to be paid to the stockholders on demand or at a fixed time. 20S 111. 818. A cash dividend is a disbursement to the stockholder of accumulated earnings, and the corporation at once parts irrevocably with all interest therein. But a stock dividend involves no disbursement by the corporation. It parts with nothing, and the stockholder receives merely certificates of stock which evidence, with his former shares, his interest in the entire capital. Stock dividends represent an addition from accrued earnings to the capital of the company; but they do not represent income, but merely additions to the source of income. Hale, Private Corporations, 227.

Financial Definition of Dividend

A dividend is a portion of a company’s profit paid to common and preferred shareholders. A stock selling for $20 a share with an annual dividend of $1 a share yields the investor 5%.

Legal Definition of Dividend

The payment designated by the board of directors to be distributed pro rata among the shares outstanding. On preferred shares, it is generally a fixed amount. On common shares, the dividend varies with the fortunes of the company and the amount of cash on hand, and may be omitted if business is poor or the directors determine to withhold earnings to invest in plant and equipment. Sometimes a company will pay a dividend out of past earnings even if it is not currently operating at a profit.

Synonyms of Dividend


  • advantage
  • allotment
  • benefit
  • distribution of earnings
  • distribution of profits
  • gain
  • increment
  • interest
  • net profit
  • profit
  • return
  • share
  • Associated Concepts: cumulative dividends
  • dividend accumulations
  • dividend additions
  • dividend earned or declared
  • dividend in liquidation
  • dividend in scrip
  • dividend payable in stock
  • dividendpaying corporation
  • dividends paid
  • guaranteed dividends
  • life insurance dividend
  • liquidation dividend
  • participating dividend
  • preferential dividend
  • preferred dividend
  • regular dividend
  • stock dividend
  • taxable dividend
  • unauthorized dividends
  • unpaid dividends

Related Entries of Dividend in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Dividend in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Dividend in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Dividend in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Dividend in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Coupons, Share, Stock Dividend.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Dividend in the Dictionary Dividend in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Dividend
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Related topics Dividend in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Dividend is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)

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Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Dividend (more about URIs)

English Legal System: Dividend

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Dividend :

A payment declared either by the directors of a company (interim dividend) or at the *annual general meeting (final dividend) as being payable to shareholders from profits available for distributio The payment is determined by reference to the terms of the *share contract; it is an agreed fixed rate for preference shares but will vary with the fortunes of the company for the holders of ordinary shares.

Cash Dividend Definition (in the Accounting Vocabulary)

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants offers the following definition of Cash Dividend in a way that is easy for anybody to understand: Distribution of a CORPORATION’s earnings to stockholders in the form of CASH.

Concept of Dividend in the context of Real Property

A short definition of Dividend: A dividing into shares of a fund of money or property for distribution, as among shareholders of a corporation. The money or property distributed is the dividend.

Concept of Dividend in the context of Real Property

A short definition of Dividend: A dividing into shares of a fund of money or property for distribution, as among shareholders of a corporation. The money or property distributed is the dividend.


Legal English Vocabulary: Dividend in Spanish

Online translation of the English legal term dividend into Spanish: dividendos (English to Spanish translation) . More about legal dictionary from english to spanish online.

Related to the Legal Thesaurus



See Also

  • Finance
  • Consumer Credit
  • Negotiable Instrument
  • Securities
  • Financial Regulation
  • Corporate Finance


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