assizes

assize

[uh-sahyz]
noun
1.
Usually, assizes. a trial session, civil or criminal, held periodically in specific locations in England, usually by a judge of a superior court.
2.
an edict, ordinance, or enactment made at a session of a legislative assembly.
3.
an inquest before members of a jury or assessors; a judicial inquiry.
4.
an action, writ, or verdict of an assize.
5.
judgment: the last assize; the great assize.
6.
a statute for the regulation and control of weights and measures or prices of general commodities in the market.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English asise < Old French: a sitting, noun use of feminine of asis seated at (past participle of aseeir), equivalent to a- a-5 + -sis < Latin sēssum (sed- stem of sedēre to sit + -tus past participle suffix)

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World English Dictionary
assize (əˈsaɪz)
 
n
1.  in the US
 a.  a sitting of a legislative assembly or administrative body
 b.  an enactment or order of such an assembly
2.  English history a trial or judicial inquest, the writ instituting such inquest, or the verdict
3.  Scots law
 a.  trial by jury
 b.  another name for jury
 
[C13: from Old French assise session, from asseoir to seat, from Latin assidēre to sit beside; see assess]

assizes (əˈsaɪzɪz)
 
pl n
(formerly in England and Wales) the sessions, usually held four times a year, of the principal court in each county, exercising civil and criminal jurisdiction, attended by itinerant judges: replaced in 1971 by crown courts

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

assize
c.1300 (attested from mid-12c. in Anglo-L.), from O.Fr. asise "session" (12c.), from fem. pp. of asseoir "to cause to sit," from L. assidere (see assess). Originally "all legal proceedings of the nature of inquests or recognitions;" hence sessions held periodically in each
Eng. county to administer civil and criminal justice.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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