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amercement

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n amercement money extracted as a penalty
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Amercement The infliction of a penalty at the discretion of the court; also, a mulct or penalty thus imposed. It differs from a fine, in that the latter is, or was originally, a fixed and certain sum prescribed by statute for an offense; but an amercement is arbitrary. Hence, the act or practice of affeering. [See Affeer ☞ This word, in old books, is written amerciament.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n amercement The act of amercing, or the state of being amerced. In law, a pecuniary penalty inflicted on an offender at the discretion of the court. It differs from a fine, in that the latter is, or was originally, a fixed and certain sum prescribed by statute for an offense, while an amercement is arbitrary. The fixing or assessment of the amount of an amercement is called affecrment.
    • n amercement Also written amerciament.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Amercement a penalty inflicted—also Amerc′iament
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. amerciment,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. amercier, to impose a fine—L. merces, wages, fine.

Usage

In literature:

All those suspected of illegal profits at the time the public delusion was at its height, were sought out and amerced in heavy fines.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions" by Charles Mackay
The justices amerced the losing party with a monetary penalty.
"Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed." by S. A. Reilly
But perhaps I could pay you a mina of silver: in that sum, then, I amerce myself.
"Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates" by Plato
Asseirers ratify the chief rent and amercements, between the lord and the inhabitant.
"An History of Birmingham (1783)" by William Hutton
A great part of the king's revenue then consisted in the fines and amercements which were imposed in his courts.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. VII. (of 12)" by Edmund Burke
We were heavily amerced by the sentence of this International Tribunal.
"Prime Ministers and Some Others" by George W. E. Russell
Wee present Nicholas Baker for smoakeinge in the street, and doe amerce him 1s.
"The Social History of Smoking" by G. L. Apperson
Then the cure, finding himself thus amerced in fines and amends, said to the judge.
"One Hundred Merrie And Delightsome Stories" by Various
The person in whose house the conventicle met, was amerced a like sum with the preacher.
"The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part F. From Charles II. to James II." by David Hume
If ye had so injured me I had been among ye with fines and amercements.
"The Fifth Queen Crowned" by Ford Madox Ford
I have been thrust into prison, and amerced in a heavy fine.
"Thoughts on African Colonization" by William Lloyd Garrison
For a trifling riot in the City (a mere pretext), the mayor and aldermen were amerced in the sum of L6,000.
"Old and New London" by Walter Thornbury
Should the murdered woman be pregnant, the slayer is amerced as if he had killed two.
"Oriental Women" by Edward Bagby Pollard
Just as Virtue is its own reward, so is Suicide its own amercement.
"The Inventions of the Idiot" by John Kendrick Bangs
But ile amerce you with so strong a fine, That you shall all repent the losse of mine.
"Shakespeare in the Theatre" by William Poel
Methinks the townsmen of Southampton will not amerce us with the damage, whether we hold the tower or not!
"The Winning of the Golden Spurs" by Percy F. Westerman
He was prosecuted, convicted, amerced in a fine, and imprisoned three months in York Castle.
"Sketches of Reforms and Reformers, of Great Britain and Ireland" by Henry B. Stanton
Asked him to be good unto Henry Halman, who was amerced in his court for chastising a servant of his, a bondman of yours.
"The Paston Letters, Volume II (of 6)"
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In poetry:

Searching those edges of the universe,
We leave the central fields a fallow part;
To feed the eye more precious things amerce,
And starve the darkened heart.
"Honours -- Part II." by Jean Ingelow