compurgation

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com·pur·ga·tion

 (kŏm′pər-gā′shən)
n.
An ancient form of trial in which an accused person could call a number of people, usually 12, to swear to their belief in his or her innocence.

[Late Latin compūrgātiō, compūrgātiōn-, complete purification, from Latin compūrgātus, past participle of compūrgāre, to purify completely : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + pūrgāre, to purify; see peuə- in Indo-European roots.]

compurgation

(ˌkɒmpɜːˈɡeɪʃən)
n
(Law) law (formerly) a method of trial whereby a defendant might be acquitted if a sufficient number of persons swore to his innocence
[C17: from Medieval Latin compurgātiō, from Latin compurgāre to purify entirely, from com- (intensive) + purgāre to purge]
ˈcompurˌgator n
comˈpurgatory, comˌpurgaˈtorial adj

compurgation

formerly, in common law, acquittal on the basis of endorsement by the friends or neighbors of the accused. Also called trial by wager of law. — compurgator, n. — compurgatory, adj.
See also: Law
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