noun[mass noun] Law, historical
Acquittal from a charge or accusation obtained by statements of innocence given by witnesses under oath.
More example sentences
- Kichynman claimed he had already cleared himself of this charge through compurgation.
- The Anglo-Saxon preference for compurgation, as proof of guilt or innocence, persisted and only gradually gave way to trial by jury.
- In the absence of positive evidence of guilt, and sometimes despite of it, the accused was bound to clear himself by compurgation or by the ordeal.
mid 17th century: from medieval Latin compurgatio(n-), from Latin compurgare, from com- (expressing intensive force) + purgare 'purify' (from purus 'pure').
Definition of compurgation in:
- The US English dictionary