[ uh-teyn-der ]
/ əˈteɪn dər /


the legal consequence of judgment of death or outlawry for treason or felony, involving the loss of all civil rights.
Obsolete. dishonor.

Nearby words

  1. attack rate,
  2. attacker,
  3. attagirl,
  4. attain,
  5. attainable,
  6. attainment,
  7. attainment target,
  8. attaint,
  9. attainture,
  10. attalid

Origin of attainder

1425–75; late Middle English, noun use of Anglo-French attaindre to convict, Old French ataindre to convict, attain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for attainder

British Dictionary definitions for attainder


/ (əˈteɪndə) /


(formerly) the extinction of a person's civil rights resulting from a sentence of death or outlawry on conviction for treason or felonySee also bill of attainder
obsolete dishonour
Archaic equivalent: attainture (əˈteɪntʃə)

Word Origin for attainder

C15: from Anglo-French attaindre to convict, from Old French ateindre to attain

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 attainder



"extinction of rights of a person sentenced to death or outlaw," mid-15c., from noun use of Old French ataindre "to touch upon, strike, hit, seize, accuse, condemn" (see attain). For use of French infinitives as nouns, especially in legal language, cf. waiver.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper