[gahr-nish-muh nt]
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  1. Law.
    1. a warning, served on a third party to hold, subject to the court's direction, money or property belonging to a debtor who is being sued by a creditor.
    2. a summons to a third party to appear in litigation pending between a creditor and debtor.
  2. adornment or decoration.

Origin of garnishment

First recorded in 1540–50; garnish + -ment Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for garnishment

Historical Examples of garnishment

British Dictionary definitions for garnishment


  1. the act of garnishing
  2. decoration or embellishment; garnish
  3. law
    1. a notice or warning
    2. obsoletea summons to court proceedings already in progress
    3. a notice warning a person holding money or property belonging to a debtor whose debt has been attached to hold such property until directed by the court to apply it
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 garnishment

1520s, from garnish + -ment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper