Share this entry

Share this page

compurgation

Line breaks: com|pur¦ga¦tion
Pronunciation: /ˌkɒmpəːˈɡeɪʃ(ə)n
 
/

Definition of compurgation in English:

noun

[mass noun] Law , historical
Acquittal from a charge or accusation obtained by statements of innocence given by witnesses under oath.
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.

Origin

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:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈSHpräkɡəˌf(y)o͞ol
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…