Also found in: Legal.
the period established by law for acquiring property rights. In the legislation of some capitalist countries, acquisitive prescription serves as the basis for the acquisition of property rights when certain conditions are met. Among the periods established for acquisitive prescription are 12 years in English law, 10, 20, and 30 years in French law (depending on the title of ownership), and 10 and 20 years in Italian law. Soviet law does not recognize acquisitive prescription.