compurgation

[ kom-per-gey-shuh n ]
/ ˌkɒm pərˈgeɪ ʃən /

noun

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.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for compurgation

British Dictionary definitions for compurgation

compurgation

/ (ˌkɒmpɜːˈɡeɪʃən) /

noun

law (formerly) a method of trial whereby a defendant might be acquitted if a sufficient number of persons swore to his innocence

Derived Forms

compurgator, nouncompurgatory or compurgatorial, adjective

Word Origin for compurgation

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