Definition of oyer and terminer in English:

Share this entry

oyer and terminer

Pronunciation: /ˌoiər an(d) ˈtərminər/

noun

historical
A court authorized to hear certain criminal cases.
Example sentences
  • Following the outbreak of witchcraft accusations in Salem, Phips appointed Stoughton chief justice of the newly formed court of oyer and terminer.
  • At first in the General Eyre and later under the commissions of oyer and terminer and gaol delivery, they would hear criminal cases.

Origin

Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French oyer et terminer 'hear and determine'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: o·yer and ter·mi·ner

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.