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tr.v. a·merced, a·merc·ing, a·merc·es Law
To punish by fine or other penalty.

[Middle English amercen, from Anglo-Norman amercier, from à merci, at the mercy of : à, to (from Latin ad; see ad-) + merci, mercy (from Latin mercēs, wages).]

a·merce′a·ble adj.
a·merce′ment n.
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.

amercement, amerciament

1. punishment or penalty applied at the discretion of a court or other authority, as contrasted with a penalty predetermined by statute.
2. the imposing of such a penalty. — amercer, n.
See also: Punishment
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.amercement - money extracted as a penaltyamercement - money extracted as a penalty  
penalty - a payment required for not fulfilling a contract
library fine - fine imposed by a library on books that overdue when returned
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


A sum of money levied as punishment for an offense:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Clause 20 extended at least a part of this protection to merchants and villeins, adding the protection that in all cases amercements should only be fixed according to the testimony of reliable local men.
29, 39, 41, 45; see also Table of Fines, Forfeitures, Penalties and Amercements, in 2 A COLLECTION OF All Such Acts OF THE General Assembly of Virginia of a Public and Permanent Nature as Have Passed Since the Session of 1801, app.
They did not object in principle to scutage, amercements, fines and other demands for taxes, but John had increased the amounts significantly without consulting them, and his demands were administered arbitrarily and coercively.
* casual profits from sale of wood, from amercements (penalties) and copy-hold fines;
(26) For example, the Magna Carta contains three chapters on the system of amercements, that, in many respects, operated in a similar manner to punitive damages under the current U.S.
amercements for misbehaviour in matters of civil right....
Moreover, royal courts provided either reparation or capital punishment; the church courts offered excommunication, amercements, at best the bishop's prison.
(15) Originally, English law punished criminal activity not with imprisonment but with financial fines called amercements. (16) The Magna Carta required that the amercement imposed on a criminal not to exceed the severity of his crime.
A little money was also needed for any money-rents or amercements (fines) which might fall due.
Physical attempts at recovery (ham-soken, unjust distraint, simple acts of violence) pepper the court rolls; many examples of amercements for drawing blood or of housebreaking no doubt conceal the facts, for instance, of an attempted recovery of goods lent.
The justices also amerced frankpledge groups that failed to or refused to fulfill their policing duties, fined communities that did not form all men into frankpledge groups, and amerced both communities and hundreds that failed to pursue offenders or to report all violations of the king's peace through inquest juries.(12) Such amercements were increasingly important.