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  1. an action for the recovery of goods or chattels wrongfully taken or detained.
  2. the common-law action or writ by which goods are replevied.
verb (used with object)
  1. to replevy.

Origin of replevin

1300–50; Middle English < Anglo-French, derivative of replevir to bail out, admit to bail, Old French. See re-, pledge
Related formsun·re·plev·ined, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for replevin

Historical Examples

  • He said he wanted to serve a writ of replevin and take the horse.

    Twenty Years of Hus'ling

    J. P. Johnston

  • Well, if I can find them I shall have them arrested and replevin the horse.

  • I hear the owners are so impudent, that they design to replevin them by law.

    The Journal to Stella

    Jonathan Swift

  • Replevin, simpleton, 'tis Dingley I mean; but it is a hard word, and so I'll excuse it.

    The Journal to Stella

    Jonathan Swift

  • Is replevin any relation, say a second cousin, to lis pendis?

British Dictionary definitions for replevin


  1. the recovery of goods unlawfully taken, made subject to establishing the validity of the recovery in a legal action and returning the goods if the decision is adverse
  2. (formerly) a writ of replevin
  1. another word for replevy

Word Origin

C15: from Anglo-French, from Old French replevir to give security for, from re- + plevir to pledge
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

Word Origin and History for replevin


"recovery of goods (by someone) taken from him, upon posting of security," mid-15c., from Anglo-French replevin (14c.) and Anglo-Latin (13c.) replevina, from Old French replevir (v.) "to pledge, protect, warrant," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + plevir, of uncertain origin; perhaps related to pledge (v.). The corresponding verb is replevy (1550s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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