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assize

[uh-sahyz] /əˈsaɪz/
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
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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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for assize

assize

/əˈsaɪz/
noun
1.
(in the US)
  1. a sitting of a legislative assembly or administrative body
  2. 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)
  1. trial by jury
  2. another name for jury1
Word Origin
C13: from Old French assise session, from asseoir to seat, from Latin assidēre to sit beside; see assess
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
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Word Origin and History for assize
n.

"session of a law court," c.1300 (attested from mid-12c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French assise "session, sitting of a court" (12c.), properly fem. past participle of asseoir "to cause to sit," from Latin assidere (see assess). Originally "all legal proceedings of the nature of inquests or recognitions;" hence sessions held periodically in each county of England to administer civil and criminal justice.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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