compurgation

[kom-per-gey-shuh n]
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noun
  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.

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
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Examples from the Web for compurgation

Historical Examples of compurgation


British Dictionary definitions for compurgation

compurgation

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