Why was "tantrum" trending last week?


[kom-per-gey-shuh n] /ˌkɒm pərˈgeɪ ʃən/
an early common-law method of trial in which the defendant is acquitted on the sworn endorsement of a specified number of friends or neighbors.
1650-60; < Medieval Latin compurgātiōn- (stem of compurgātiō), equivalent to com- com- + purgāt(us) (past participle of purgāre to purge) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for compurgation
  • compurgation, also called wager of law, is a defense used primarily in medieval law.
British Dictionary definitions for compurgation


(law) (formerly) a method of trial whereby a defendant might be acquitted if a sufficient number of persons swore to his innocence
Derived Forms
compurgator, noun
compurgatory, compurgatorial, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin compurgātiō, from Latin compurgāre to purify entirely, from com- (intensive) + purgāre to purge
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
Encyclopedia Article for compurgation

in early English law, method of settling issues of fact by appeal to a type of character witness. Compurgation was practiced until the 16th century in criminal matters and into the 19th century in civil matters

Learn more about compurgation with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for compurgation

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for compurgation

Scrabble Words With Friends