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A rentier (// or /rɑ̃ˈtjeɪ/) is a person or entity receiving income derived from economic rents - which can include income from patents, copyrights, brand loyalty, real estate (land), interest or profits. The English word originates from the French term rentier, with a change of meaning from "one who derives income from rentes", i.e. in a French context, state bonds.
"Rentes: A French word, originally meaning the fee of the tenant to his landlord, now [circa 1905, from internal evidence in other entries[where?]] signifying the interest on the consolidated debt. Rentes are exempt from all taxation, except those taxes on succession and donation. The French public debt is about £1,000,000,000. The number of rentiers or fundholders is estimated at about 1,000,000."
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- Bower, Frank (1905). Dictionary of Economic Terms. London: George Routledge & Sons ltd. p. 141.