amerce

[ uh-murs ]
/ əˈmɜrs /

verb (used with object), a·merced, a·merc·ing.

to punish by imposing a fine not fixed by statute.
to punish by inflicting any discretionary or arbitrary penalty.

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Origin of amerce

1250–1300; Middle English amercy < Anglo-French amerci(er) to fine, representing (estre) a merci (to be) at (someone's) mercy. See a-5, mercy

OTHER WORDS FROM amerce

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for amerce

  • But perhaps I could pay you a mina of silver: in that sum, then, I amerce myself.

  • Nay, but they will hold thee to ransom, and detain thee till it is brought: I heard them amerce thee at a thousand marks.

  • In your greatness ye shall change it; with your justice ye shall purify it; with your clemencies ye should it chasten and amerce.

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  • I amerce myself, then, to you in that sum; and they will be sufficient sureties for the money.

British Dictionary definitions for amerce

amerce
/ (əˈmɜːs) /

verb (tr) obsolete

law to punish by a fine
to punish with any arbitrary penalty

Derived forms of amerce

amerceable, adjectiveamercement, nounamercer, noun

Word Origin for amerce

C14: from Anglo-French amercier, from Old French à merci at the mercy (because the fine was arbitrarily fixed); see mercy
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