- a crime, especially high treason, committed against the sovereign power.
- an offense that violates the dignity of a ruler.
- an attack on any custom, institution, belief, etc., held sacred or revered by numbers of people: Her speech against Mother's Day was criticized as lese majesty.
Origin of lese majesty
Examples from the Web for lese-majesty
They have conquered you already, as they boast, for the crime of lese-majesty has placed you at their mercy.The Rise of the Dutch Republic, Volume III.(of III) 1574-84
John Lothrop Motley
Got to have a finger in some political pie, and political pies in Russia before the war were lese-majesty.The Drums Of Jeopardy
How could they, when they saw in the temper of the people too plain proofs that their lese-majesty had borne evil fruit?The Expositor's Bible:The Book of Numbers
Robert A. Watson
- any of various offences committed against the sovereign power in a state; treason
- an attack on authority or position
Word Origin and History for lese-majesty
"offense against sovereign authority, treason," 1530s (mid-15c. as an Anglo-French word), from French lèse-majesté, from Latin laesa majestos "violated majesty," from laesus, past participle of laedere "to hurt, injure, damage, offend, insult," of unknown origin.