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lese majesty

[lez, leez] /ˈlɛz, liz/
  1. a crime, especially high treason, committed against the sovereign power.
  2. an offense that violates the dignity of a ruler.
an attack on any custom, institution, belief, etc., held sacred or revered by numbers of people:
Her speech against Mother's Day was criticized as lese majesty.
Also, lèse majesty, lèse majesté [lez mah-juh-stey, lez maj-uh-stee, leez] /ˈlɛz ˌmɑ dʒəˈsteɪ, ˈlɛz ˈmædʒ ə sti, ˈliz/ (Show IPA).
Origin of lese majesty
1530-40; < French lèse-majesté, after Latin (crīmen) laesae mājestātis (the crime) of injured majesty Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for lese-majesty


any of various offences committed against the sovereign power in a state; treason
an attack on authority or position
Word Origin
C16: from French lèse majesté, from Latin laesa mājestās wounded majesty
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
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Word Origin and History for lese-majesty

"offense against sovereign authority, treason," 1530s (mid-15c. as an Anglo-French word), from French lèse-majesté, from Latin laesa majestos "violated majesty," from laesus, past participle of laedere "to hurt, injure, damage, offend, insult," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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