Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[uh-sahyz] /əˈsaɪz/
Usually, assizes. a trial session, civil or criminal, held periodically in specific locations in England, usually by a judge of a superior court.
an edict, ordinance, or enactment made at a session of a legislative assembly.
an inquest before members of a jury or assessors; a judicial inquiry.
an action, writ, or verdict of an assize.
the last assize; the great assize.
a statute for the regulation and control of weights and measures or prices of general commodities in the market.
Origin of assize
1250-1300; Middle English asise < Old French: a sitting, noun use of feminine of asis seated at (past participle of aseeir), equivalent to a- a-5 + -sis < Latin sēssum (sed- stem of sedēre to sit1 + -tus past participle suffix) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for assizes
Historical Examples
  • He was referred to assizes, but got away in the meanwhile, and so saved his neck.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • On the eighth day of the assizes there were but fifty of us left in the wool warehouse.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • At the trial of Roubaud he acted as assessor to the assizes.

    A Zola Dictionary J. G. Patterson
  • His ignorance of law was soon shewn at the Lancaster assizes.

    James Boswell William Keith Leask
  • She was committed for trial at the assizes, as the magistrate had no ducking-stool.

    Bygone Punishments

    William Andrews
  • “I see the assizes have got through with their work at last,” put in Ben Todd.

  • The assizes were to take place only a fortnight after the date of Reuben's committal.

    A Final Reckoning G. A. Henty
  • The assizes begin here at Carmarthen on the 29th of next month.

    Cousin Henry

    Anthony Trollope
  • There have been several before the assizes in various cities of Europe.

    The Stretton Street Affair William Le Queux
  • "Papa always is late when the assizes are going on," said Madeline.

    Orley Farm

    Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for assizes


plural noun
(formerly in England and Wales) the sessions, usually held four times a year, of the principal court in each county, exercising civil and criminal jurisdiction, attended by itinerant judges: replaced in 1971 by crown courts


(in the US)
  1. a sitting of a legislative assembly or administrative body
  2. an enactment or order of such an assembly
(English history) a trial or judicial inquest, the writ instituting such inquest, or the verdict
(Scots law)
  1. trial by jury
  2. another name for jury1
Word Origin
C13: from Old French assise session, from asseoir to seat, from Latin assidēre to sit beside; see assess
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for assizes



"session of a law court," c.1300 (attested from mid-12c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French assise "session, sitting of a court" (12c.), properly fem. past participle of asseoir "to cause to sit," from Latin assidere (see assess). Originally "all legal proceedings of the nature of inquests or recognitions;" hence sessions held periodically in each county of England to administer civil and criminal justice.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for assizes

Word Value for assizes

Scrabble Words With Friends