• synonyms


[kom-per-gey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for compurgation on Thesaurus.com
  1. an early common-law method of trial in which the defendant is acquitted on the sworn endorsement of a specified number of friends or neighbors.
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Origin of compurgation

1650–60; < Medieval Latin compurgātiōn- (stem of compurgātiō), equivalent to com- com- + purgāt(us) (past participle of purgāre to purge) + -iōn- -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for compurgation

Historical Examples

  • But the compurgation was now completed, and the Cid was compelled to do homage.

    The History of Chivalry, Volume II (of 2)

    Charles Mills

  • The king or one of his reeves, conducted the trial by compurgation.

  • There was no trial by compurgation in the Royal Courts, which was abolished by Henry.

  • Compurgation was not used; accused persons were sent directly to the ordeal.

  • Associated words: compurgation, compurgator, compurgatorial.

    Putnam's Word Book

    Louis A. Flemming

British Dictionary definitions for compurgation


  1. law (formerly) a method of trial whereby a defendant might be acquitted if a sufficient number of persons swore to his innocence
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Derived Formscompurgator, nouncompurgatory or compurgatorial, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Medieval Latin compurgātiō, from Latin compurgāre to purify entirely, from com- (intensive) + purgāre to purge
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