Legal Definition and Related Resources of Nuisance

Meaning of Nuisance

An actionable wrong , distinct from trespass and negligence . Consists in the wrongful act or omission on the part of the defendant which indirectly impairs the use and enjoyment by the plaintiff of his own property or affects his health, comfort or convenience. See Dist. of Columbia v Totten, 55 App.D.C. 312, 5 F.2d 374; such unreasonable , unwarrantable or unlawful use by a person of his own property, or his improper , indecent or unlawful conduct which operates as an obstruction or injury to the right of another or to the public and which produces such material annoyance, inconvenience, discomfort or hurt that the law will presume a consequential damage . Jezowski v Citv of Reno, 286 P.2d257, 71 Nev. 233. interest invaded and not to the type of conduct which subjects the actor to liability . See Raymond v Southern Pac. Co., 488 P.2d460, 259 Or. 629. Nuisance is distinct from negligence which is the failure to use that degree of care required under the circumstances, whereas nuisance does not rest upon degree of care used but on the degree of danger existing even with best of care. King v Columbia Carbon Co., (C.A.5. Tex.) 152 F.2d 636. Nuisance has been classified into either private or public. A private nuisance is an interference with private rights , producing damage to one or a few persons. See Me Far lane v Niagara Falls, 247 N. Y. 340, 160 N.E. 391; also Baltzeger v Carolina Midland R. Co., 54 S. C. 242, 32 S. E. 358. A public nuisance, on the other hand, is an unlawful act or omission affecting at the same time any considerable number of per-sons, arising from the violation of public rights either by a direct encroachment upon public property or by doing some act which tends to common injury, or by the omission of that which it is the duty of a person to do. Lonoke v Chicago, R.I. & P.R. Co., 92 Ark. 546, 123 S. W. 395. A public nuisance exists if the act or omission affects public order , decency or morals or constitutes an obstruction of public rights or the rights of citizens as a whole. See state v t.r.e. , 198 S.C. 487, 18 S.E.2d 372; Adams v commonwealth , 162 Ky. 76, 171 S. W. 1006. Nuisance is also classified into nuisance per se or per accidens. A nuisance per se is such an act or omission or structure which is a nuisance at all times and under any circumstances whereas a nuisance per accidens or in fact is one which amounts to a nuisance by reason of the circumstances, location or surroundings. The distinction between these two types of nuisance is not a substantive one but relates to the proof required in a given case. See Bryson v Elsworth, 211 Ark. 313, 200 S. W.2d504.

Nuisance Alternative Definition

A nuisance is anything that unlawfully worketh hurt, inconvenience, or damage. 3 Bl. Comm. 216. Any offensive erection, which, from its nature, may be an annoyance, and from its situation actually becomes so, is a nuisance. Tayl. Landl. & Ten. § 201. Public Nuisance. Such an inconvenience or troublesome offense as annoys the whole community in general, and not merely some particular person. 4 Bl. Comm. 166. Such an annoyance as infringes on rights common to the public. 7 Mich. 432. Some considerable portion of the community must be affected, for while that is a public nuisance which injures generally such citizens as may be so circumstanced as to come within its influence (43 N. J. Eq. 478; 8 Cow. [N. Y.] 146) , it must be in a public place, where members of the community are liable to come within its influence (7 Blackf. [Ind.] 534; 34 Tex. 230; 36 N. J. Law, 283). The test is not the number of persons annoyed, but the possibility of invasion of the public rights. 5 Rand. (Va.) 691. Private Nuisance. Anything done or maintained whereby special annoyance or injury is done to another. A public nuisance may be private, as well, and such have been termed mixed nuisances. Wood, Nuisance, § 17. The exact amount of annoyance or inconvenience necessary to constitute a private nuisance has never been settled. In general terms, the injury should cause an inconvenience materially interfering with the ordinary comfort, physically, of human existence; not merely according to elegant or dainty modes and habits of living, but according to plain, sober, and simple notions. 4 Eng. Law & Eq. 15. The filling of the air with smoke or noxious vapor, to the detriment of health (11 Mo. 517; 12 L. T. [N. S.] 776), or with noisome odors (20 N. J. Eq. 201; 23 N. J. Eq. 251), the production of great noise and clangor in a quiet neighborhood (14 Mo. App. 590), the maintenance of excessive heat, rendering adjoining premises uninhabitable (46 Ala. 381), the keeping of explosives or inflammable substances (35 N. J. Law, 17) , are well-recognized forms of private nuisance.

Synonyms of Nuisance


  • affliction
  • aggravation
  • annoyance
  • anxiety
  • bedevilment
  • bother
  • burden
  • cause of distress
  • devilmen: difficult situation
  • difficulty
  • discomfort
  • displeasure
  • disturbance
  • grievance
  • handicap
  • harassment
  • hardship
  • hindrance
  • imposition
  • inconvenience
  • infliction infringement
  • injurious interference
  • interference
  • intrusion
  • irritation
  • molestation
  • obstacle
  • ordeal
  • pair
  • pest
  • pestilence
  • plague
  • problem
  • scourge
  • trial
  • trouble
  • unlawful obstruction
  • unwarrantable intrusion vexation
  • worry
  • Associated Concepts: abatement of a nuisance
  • attractive nuisance
  • common nuisance
  • continuing nuisance
  • nuisance at law
  • nuisance in fact
  • nuisance per se
  • public nuisanceforeign phrases: Aedificare in tuo proprio solo non lice: quodalterinoceat
  • lt is not lawful to build upon one’s own land what may injure another

Related Entries of Nuisance in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Nuisance 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.

Nuisance in Historical Law

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

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

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

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Keeping Disorderly House, Private Nuisance, Scold, .


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Nuisance in the Dictionary Nuisance in our legal dictionaries
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Related topics Nuisance in the World Encyclopedia of Law


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

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Nuisance (more about URIs)

Nuisance in the United States

Nuisance in Connecticut

To establish a nuisance four elements must be proven:
(1) the condition complained of had a natural tendency to create danger and inflict injury upon person or property;
(2) the danger created was a continuing one;
(3) the use of the land (more in the U.S.) was unreasonable or unlawful;
(4) the existence of the nuisance was the proximate cause of the plaintiffs’ injuries and damages. Filisko v. Bridgeport Hydraulic Co., 176 Connecticut (provision) 33, 35-36, 404 A.2d 889 (1978).


Legal English Vocabulary: Nuisance in Spanish

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

Related to the Legal Thesaurus


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Land-Use Control; Tort Law.
  • Nuisance in Law Enforcement

    Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of nuisance.


    See Also

    • Law Enforcement Officer
    • Police
    • Law Enforcement Agency

    Further Reading

    Concept of Nuisance in the context of Real Property

    A short definition of Nuisance: A use of property which interferes with the use and enjoyment of other property by excessive noise, odors, fumes, or other harmful or unpleasant emissions.

    In legal terminology, a nuisance is a substantial interference with the right to use and enjoy land, which may be intentional, negligent or ultrahazardous in origin.

    Concept of Nuisance in the context of Real Property

    A short definition of Nuisance: A use of property which interferes with the use and enjoyment of other property by excessive noise, odors, fumes, or other harmful or unpleasant emissions.

    In legal terminology, a nuisance is a substantial interference with the right to use and enjoy land, which may be intentional, negligent or ultrahazardous in origin.



    See Also

    • Working Condition
    • Working Time
    • Occupational Health
    • Work Environment
    • Labor Law
    • Legal Working Age

    Hierarchical Display of Nuisance

    Environment > Deterioration of the environment
    Environment > Deterioration of the environment > Pollution

    Meaning of Nuisance

    Overview and more information about Nuisance

    For a more comprehensive understanding of Nuisance, see in the general part of the online platform.[rtbs name=”xxx-xxx”]


    Translation of Nuisance

    Thesaurus of Nuisance

    Environment > Deterioration of the environment > Nuisance
    Environment > Deterioration of the environment > Pollution > Nuisance

    See also


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