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1520s, from Anglo-French deodande (late 13c.), from Medieval Latin deodandum, from Deo dandum "a thing to be given to God," from dative of deus "god" (see Zeus) + neuter gerundive of dare "to give" (see date (n.1)). In English law, "a personal chattel which, having been the immediate cause of the death of a person, was forfeited to the Crown to be applied to pious uses." Abolished 1846.