Definition of amercement in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈməːsmənt/


English Law , historical
A fine: courts continued to impose small amercements [mass noun]: default resulted in heavy amercement
More example sentences
  • Justice, for example, a major source of royal income by the end of the twelfth century, could be exploited in this way because a large number of people existed to pay fines and amercements.
  • In other actions the unsuccessful party has to pay an amercement for making an unjust, or resisting a just claim; the defendant found guilty of trespass is fined and imprisoned.
  • The tenant is also to receive a serious amercement for his trespass in disobeying the bailiffs.



Pronunciation: /əˈməːs/
Example sentences
  • Many archaic French usages continue in the legal usage of England, such as: amerce, implead, malfeasance, tort.
  • If the bailiffs find anyone in contravention of this, or if any reputable man makes a complaint about such an offence, and the accused is convicted then he must be heavily amerced by the bailiffs and any complainant is to be awarded damages.
  • In 1309 he was amerced by the leet court for using non-standard measures to sell goods.


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French amerciment, based on estre amercie 'be at the mercy of another' (with respect to the amount of a fine), from a merci 'at (the) mercy'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: amerce|ment

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.