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[uh-teyn-der] /əˈteɪn dər/
the legal consequence of judgment of death or outlawry for treason or felony, involving the loss of all civil rights.
Obsolete, dishonor.
Origin of attainder
1425-75; late Middle English, noun use of Anglo-French attaindre to convict, Old French ataindre to convict, attain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for attainder
  • At early common law, an offender convicted of a capital offense was placed in a state of attainder.
  • No attainder shall work corruption of blood, nor except during the life of the offender forfeiture of estate.
  • No conviction of treason or attainder shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.
British Dictionary definitions for attainder


(formerly) the extinction of a person's civil rights resulting from a sentence of death or outlawry on conviction for treason or felony See also bill of attainder
(obsolete) dishonour
Archaic equivalent attainture (əˈteɪntʃə)
Word Origin
C15: from Anglo-French attaindre to convict, from Old French ateindre to attain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for attainder

"extinction of rights of a person sentenced to death or outlaw," mid-15c., from noun use of Old French ataindre "to touch upon, strike, hit, seize, accuse, condemn" (see attain). For use of French infinitives as nouns, especially in legal language, cf. waiver.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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