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Star Chamber

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noun
a former court of inquisitorial and criminal jurisdiction in England that sat without a jury and that became noted for its arbitrary methods and severe punishments, abolished 1641.
any tribunal, committee, or the like, which proceeds by arbitrary or unfair methods.
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Origin of Star Chamber

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use Star Chamber in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Star Chamber

Star Chamber

noun
English history the Privy Council sitting as a court of equity, esp powerful under the Tudor monarchs; abolished 1641
(sometimes not capitals) any arbitrary tribunal dispensing summary justice
(sometimes not capitals) (in Britain, in a Conservative government) a group of senior ministers who make the final decision on the public spending of each government department
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

Cultural definitions for Star Chamber

Star Chamber

A royal court that began in England in the Middle Ages; cases were heard there without juries. Under the early Stuart kings, it was known for its tyrannical judgments. The name came from the courtroom's ceiling, which was painted with stars.

notes for Star Chamber

Star Chamber is used as a general descriptive term for arbitrary tactics by a judge.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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