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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

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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