follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

amerce

[uh-murs] /əˈmɜrs/
verb (used with object), amerced, amercing.
1.
to punish by imposing a fine not fixed by statute.
2.
to punish by inflicting any discretionary or arbitrary penalty.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English amercy < Anglo-French amerci(er) to fine, representing (estre) a merci (to be) at (someone's) mercy. See a-5, mercy
Related forms
amerceable, adjective
amercement, noun
amercer, noun
unamerceable, adjective
unamerced, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for amerced

amerce

/əˈmɜːs/
verb (transitive) (obsolete)
1.
(law) to punish by a fine
2.
to punish with any arbitrary penalty
Derived Forms
amerceable, adjective
amercement, noun
amercer, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French amercier, from Old French à merci at the mercy (because the fine was arbitrarily fixed); see mercy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for amerced

amerce

v.

1215, earlier amercy, Anglo-French amercier "to fine," from merci "mercy, grace" (see mercy). The legal phrase estre a merci "to be at the mercy of" (a tribunal, etc.) was corrupted to estre amercié in an example of how a legalese adverbial phrase can become a verb (cf. abandon). The sense often was "to fine arbitrarily."

Frans hom ne seit amerciez pour petit forfet. [Magna Charta]
Related: Amercement; amerciable.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for amerce

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for amerced

12
14
Scrabble Words With Friends