compurgation

[kom-per-gey-shuhn]
noun
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.

Origin:
1650–60; < Medieval Latin compurgātiōn- (stem of compurgātiō), equivalent to com- com- + purgāt(us) (past participle of purgāre to purge) + -iōn- -ion

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World English Dictionary
compurgation (ˌkɒmpɜːˈɡeɪʃən)
 
n
law (formerly) a method of trial whereby a defendant might be acquitted if a sufficient number of persons swore to his innocence
 
[C17: from Medieval Latin compurgātiō, from Latin compurgāre to purify entirely, from com- (intensive) + purgāre to purge]
 
'compurgator
 
n
 
com'purgatory
 
adj
 
compurga'torial
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

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 Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for compurgation
Compurgation, also called wager of law, is a defense used primarily in medieval law.
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