deodand

deodand

[dee-uh-dand]
noun English Law.
(before 1846) an animal or article that, having been the immediate cause of the death of a human being, was forfeited to the crown to be applied to pious uses.

Origin:
1520–30; < Medieval Latin deōdandum (a thing) to be given to God < Latin deō to God (dative singular of deus) + dandum to be given (neuter gerund of dare to give)

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deodand (ˈdiːəʊˌdænd)
 
n
English law (formerly) a thing that had caused a person's death and was forfeited to the crown for a charitable purpose: abolished 1862
 
[C16: from Anglo-French deodande, from Medieval Latin deōdandum, from Latin Deō dandum (something) to be given to God, from deus god + dare to give]

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Word Origin & History

deodand
1523, from Anglo-Fr. deodande (1292), from M.L. deodandum, from Deo dandum "a thing to be given to God." In Eng. 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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