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.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
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decorum

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 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 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