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[ri-plev-in] /rɪˈplɛv ɪn/ Law.
an action for the recovery of goods or chattels wrongfully taken or detained.
the common-law action or writ by which goods are replevied.
verb (used with object)
to replevy.
Origin of replevin
1300-50; Middle English < Anglo-French, derivative of replevir to bail out, admit to bail, Old French. See re-, pledge
Related forms
unreplevined, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for replevin
Historical Examples
  • Another action is replevin which is used to recover specific goods.

  • Well, if I can find them I shall have them arrested and replevin the horse.

    Twenty Years of Hus'ling J. P. Johnston
  • Our experience of a few days before with the writ of replevin had been a very good lesson.

    Twenty Years of Hus'ling J. P. Johnston
  • replevin, simpleton, 'tis Dingley I mean; but it is a hard word, and so I'll excuse it.

    The Journal to Stella Jonathan Swift
  • A replevin was afterwards effected, on the payment of five hundred pounds.

  • I asked Mrs. Cody if she could write a writ of replevin and she said she had never heard of such a thing.

    An Autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W. F. Cody) Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody)
  • I replied that to make a full statement would surely result in a writ of replevin being served and the horse being taken from me.

    Twenty Years of Hus'ling J. P. Johnston
  • "I don't want your papers," remarked Sylvane, who did not know a replevin paper from a dog license.

  • Then after filling out a writ of replevin he added, "Excuse me a moment, Mr. Terry; I will be back soon."

    Uncle Terry Charles Clark Munn
  • Rivet refusing to deliver up the statue after Charless return, a replevin was served upon him to compel its surrender.

    Haunted London Walter Thornbury
British Dictionary definitions for replevin


the recovery of goods unlawfully taken, made subject to establishing the validity of the recovery in a legal action and returning the goods if the decision is adverse
(formerly) a writ of replevin
another word for replevy
Word Origin
C15: from Anglo-French, from Old French replevir to give security for, from re- + plevir to pledge
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 replevin

"recovery of goods (by someone) taken from him, upon posting of security," mid-15c., from Anglo-French replevin (14c.) and Anglo-Latin (13c.) replevina, from Old French replevir (v.) "to pledge, protect, warrant," from re- "back, again" (see re-) + plevir, of uncertain origin; perhaps related to pledge (v.). The corresponding verb is replevy (1550s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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