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.

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

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for amercement

  • Sullivan says that both plaintiffs and defendants were liable to amercement.

  • If any one happen to fall into my amercement he may be reasonably fined by my bailiff and the faithful burgesses of the court.

British Dictionary definitions for amercement

amerce

/ (əˈmɜːs) /

verb (tr) obsolete

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

Derived Forms

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