- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for compurgation
But the compurgation was now completed, and the Cid was compelled to do homage.The History of Chivalry, Volume II (of 2)
There was no trial by compurgation in the Royal Courts, which was abolished by Henry.
The king or one of his reeves, conducted the trial by compurgation.
Compurgation was not used; accused persons were sent directly to the ordeal.
Associated words: compurgation, compurgator, compurgatorial.Putnam's Word Book
Louis A. Flemming
- law (formerly) a method of trial whereby a defendant might be acquitted if a sufficient number of persons swore to his innocence
C17: from Medieval Latin compurgātiō, from Latin compurgāre to purify entirely, from com- (intensive) + purgāre to purge