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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (1)

1. the right in English law of presenting a nominee to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice;

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Advowson \Ad*vow"son\ (?; 277), n. [OE. avoweisoun, OF. avo["e]son, fr. L. advocatio. Cf. Advocation.] (Eng. Law) The right of presenting to a vacant benefice or living in the church. [Originally, the relation of a patron (advocatus) or protector of a benefice, and thus privileged to nominate or present to it.] [1913 Webster] Note: The benefices of the Church of England are in every case subjects of presentation. They are nearly 12,000 in number; the advowson of more than half of them belongs to private persons, and of the remainder to the crown, bishops, deans and chapters, universities, and colleges. --Amer. Cyc. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

advowson n 1: the right in English law of presenting a nominee to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

ADVOWSON, ecclesiastical law. From advow or advocare, a right of presentation to a church or benefice. He who possesses this right is called the patron or advocate, (q.v.) when there is no patron, or he neglects to exercise his right within six months, it is called a lapse, i. e. a title is given to the ordinary to collate to a church; when a presentation is made by one who has no right it is called a usurpation. 2. Advowsons are of different kinds, as Advowson appendant, when it depends upon a manor, &c. - Advowson in gross, when it belongs to a person and not to a manor. - Advowson presentative, where the patron presents to the bishop. - Advowson donative, where the king or patron puts the clerk into possession without presentation. - Advowson of the moiety of the church, where there are two several patrons and two incumbents in the same church. - A moiety of advowson, where two must join the presentation, of one incumbent. - Advowson of religious houses, that which is vested in the person who founded such a house. Techn. Dict.; 2 Bl. Com. 21; Mirehouse on Advowsons; Com. Dig. Advowson, Quare Impedit; Bac. Ab. Simony; Burn's Eccl. Law, h.t.; Cruise's Dig. Index, h.t.