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See more synonyms for assize on Thesaurus.com
  1. Usually assizes. a trial session, civil or criminal, held periodically in specific locations in England, usually by a judge of a superior court.
  2. an edict, ordinance, or enactment made at a session of a legislative assembly.
  3. an inquest before members of a jury or assessors; a judicial inquiry.
  4. an action, writ, or verdict of an assize.
  5. judgment: the last assize; the great assize.
  6. a statute for the regulation and control of weights and measures or prices of general commodities in the market.
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Origin of assize

1250–1300; Middle English asise < Old French: a sitting, noun use of feminine of asis seated at (past participle of aseeir), equivalent to a- a-5 + -sis < Latin sēssum (sed- stem of sedēre to sit1 + -tus past participle suffix)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for assize

tribunal, decree, court, ordinance, enactment, inquest, rule, hearing, trial, session, measure, assembly

Examples from the Web for assize

Historical Examples of assize

  • The old saying, 'Truth will out,' does not apply in an assize court.

    The New Tenant

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • The trial came on at the Court of Assize about six weeks ago.


    Pierre Souvestre

  • The judges on assize were ordered to press the king's demand.

  • The assize at Dorchester was opened on the 3rd of September.

    Roger Willoughby

    William H. G. Kingston

  • Nearly every assize is marked by a charge of this character.

British Dictionary definitions for assize


  1. (in the US)
    1. a sitting of a legislative assembly or administrative body
    2. an enactment or order of such an assembly
  2. English history a trial or judicial inquest, the writ instituting such inquest, or the verdict
  3. Scots law
    1. trial by jury
    2. another name for jury 1
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Word Origin for assize

C13: from Old French assise session, from asseoir to seat, from Latin assidēre to sit beside; see assess
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 assize


"session of a law court," c.1300 (attested from mid-12c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French assise "session, sitting of a court" (12c.), properly fem. past participle of asseoir "to cause to sit," from Latin assidere (see assess). Originally "all legal proceedings of the nature of inquests or recognitions;" hence sessions held periodically in each county of England to administer civil and criminal justice.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper