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lese majesty

[ leez-maj-uh-stee, lez ]
/ ˈliz ˈmædʒ ə sti, ˈlɛz /
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noun

Law.
  1. a crime, especially high treason, committed against the sovereign power.
  2. an offense that violates the dignity of a ruler.
an attack on any custom, institution, belief, etc., held sacred or revered by numbers of people: Her speech against Mother's Day was criticized as lese majesty.

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Also lèse maj·es·ty, lèse maj·es·té [lez-mah-juh-stey; lez-maj-uh-stee, leez-maj-uh-stee]. /ˈlɛz ˈmɑ dʒəˈsteɪ; ˈlɛz ˈmædʒ ə sti, ˈliz ˈmædʒ ə sti/.

Origin of lese majesty

First recorded in 1450–1500 in spelling lese mageste; current spelling dates from 1785–80; partial translation of Anglo-French, Middle French lese majesté, leze magesté, from Latin (crīmen) laesae mājestātis “(the crime) of injured majesty” (originally against the Roman people, later against the emperor)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for lese majesty

British Dictionary definitions for lese majesty

lese-majesty
/ (ˈliːzˈmædʒɪstɪ) /

noun

any of various offences committed against the sovereign power in a state; treason
an attack on authority or position

Word Origin for lese-majesty

C16: from French lèse majesté, from Latin laesa mājestās wounded majesty
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
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