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champerty

[cham-per-tee] /ˈtʃæm pər ti/
noun, Law.
1.
a sharing in the proceeds of litigation by one who agrees with either the plaintiff or defendant to help promote it or carry it on.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English champartie, equivalent to champart (< Middle French: share of the produce, literally, of the field, equivalent to champ field (see camp1) + part share, see part) + -ie -y3
Related forms
champertous, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for champertous

champerty

/ˈtʃæmpətɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
(law) (formerly) an illegal bargain between a party to litigation and an outsider whereby the latter agrees to pay for the action and thereby share in any proceeds recovered See also maintenance
Derived Forms
champertous, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Anglo-French champartie, from Old French champart share of produce, from champ field + part share (a feudal lord's)
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 champertous
adj.

1640s, from champart, from French champart "portion of produce received by a feudal lord from land held in lease from him" (13c.), from Old North French campart-, probably from Latin campi pars "part of the field" (see campus + part (n.)). In later use often with reference to champerty (early 14c.), the illegal act whereby a person makes a bargain to maintain a litigant in return for a share of the gains if the case succeeds.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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