• synonyms


[ oh-yer, oi-er ]
/ ˈoʊ yər, ˈɔɪ ər /

noun Law.

oyer and terminer.
a hearing in open court involving the production of some document pleaded by one party and demanded by the other, the party pleading the document being said to make profert.


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Nearby words

oy, oyama, oyama, iwao, oyashio current, oyelet, oyer, oyer and terminer, oyez, oyo, oyster, oyster bay

Origin of oyer

1375–1425; late Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French oïr to hear < Latin audīre Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oyer

British Dictionary definitions for oyer


/ (ɔɪə) /


English legal history (in the 13th century) an assize
(formerly) the reading out loud of a document in court
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 oyer



early 15c., "a hearing of causes," from Anglo-French oyer, Old French oir, from Latin audire "to hear" (see audience). Especially in phrase oyer and terminer (early 15c., but from late 13c. in Anglo-Latin and Anglo-French), literally "a hearing and determining," in England a court of judges of assize, in U.S. a higher criminal court.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper