The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Fine \Fine\ (f[imac]n), n. [OE. fin, L. finis end, also in LL.,
a final agreement or concord between the lord and his vassal;
a sum of money paid at the end, so as to make an end of a
transaction, suit, or prosecution; mulct; penalty; cf. OF.
fin end, settlement, F. fin end. See Finish, and cf.
1. End; conclusion; termination; extinction. [Obs.] "To see
their fatal fine." --Spenser.
Is this the fine of his fines? --Shak.
2. A sum of money paid as the settlement of a claim, or by
way of terminating a matter in dispute; especially, a
payment of money imposed upon a party as a punishment for
an offense; a mulct.
(a) (Feudal Law) A final agreement concerning lands or
rents between persons, as the lord and his vassal.
(b) (Eng. Law) A sum of money or price paid for obtaining
a benefit, favor, or privilege, as for admission to a
copyhold, or for obtaining or renewing a lease.
Fine for alienation (Feudal Law), a sum of money paid to
the lord by a tenant whenever he had occasion to make over
his land to another. --Burrill.
Fine of lands, a species of conveyance in the form of a
fictitious suit compromised or terminated by the
acknowledgment of the previous owner that such land was
the right of the other party. --Burrill. See Concord,
In fine, in conclusion; by way of termination or summing
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
FINE FOR ALIENATION. During the vigor of the feudal law, a fine for
alienation was a sum of money which a tenant by knight's service paid to his
lord for permission to alienate his right in the estate he held, to another,
and by that means to substitute a new tenant for himself. 2 Bl. Com. 71, But
when the tenant held land of the king, in capite, by socage tenure, he was
bound to pay such a fine, as well as in the case of knight service. 2 Bl.
Com. 89. These fines are now abolished. In France, a similar demand from the
tenant, made by the lord when the former alienated his estate, was called
lods et vente. This imposition was abolished, with nearly every feudal
right, by the French revolution.