Definition of oyer and terminer in English:

oyer and terminer

Syllabification: o·yer and ter·mi·ner
Pronunciation: /ˈoi-ər and ˈtərmənər


  • A court authorized to hear certain criminal cases.
    More 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.


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

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