Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.


1. Under English common law, the state of having lost one's legal and civil personhood, as through losing the legal capacity to own or pass on property.
2. Obsolete Dishonor.

[Middle English atteindre, act of attainting, from Old French ataindre, to convict, affect, attainder; see attain.]


1. (Law) (formerly) the extinction of a person's civil rights resulting from a sentence of death or outlawry on conviction for treason or felony. See also bill of attainder
2. obsolete dishonour
Archaic equivalent: attainture
[C15: from Anglo-French attaindre to convict, from Old French ateindre to attain]


(əˈteɪn dər)

1. the extinction of a person's civil rights upon being sentenced to death or outlawry for treason or a felony.
2. Obs. dishonor.
[1425–75; late Middle English, n. use of Anglo-French attaindre to convict, Old French ataindre to convict, attain]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.attainder - cancellation of civil rights
cancellation - the act of cancelling; calling off some arrangement


[əˈteɪndəʳ] N (Jur) → extinción f de los derechos civiles de un individuo
References in classic literature ?
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
By a limited Constitution, I understand one which contains certain specified exceptions to the legislative authority; such, for instance, as that it shall pass no bills of attainder, no ex post facto laws, and the like.
The gentle force of attainder or confiscation or death which, as you are aware, these new Sophists and educators who are the public, apply when their words are powerless.
Senator Joker likened what was happening to a bill of attainder, which is a legislative act finding someone guilty of treason or a felony without trial.
The Bill of Attainder Clause prohibits the legislature from determining the guilt or innocence of a particular party or prescribing an appropriate punishment for a particular party.
25) Paulina Kewes has observed that Hadsor represented the dramatic performance of Kildare's attainder for treason 'as if it were a factual report'.
27) In the words of legal historian William Stacy, by the abandonment of the trial and the move to a bill of attainder the House of Commons "destroyed a man they otherwise could not convict.
Much the same is true with respect to specificity and bills of attainder: a law can be extremely specific, can even impose a burden as opposed to providing a benefit, and still not be a bill of attainder.
before attainder, sentence or conviction, or after, forgiveth any crime,
Punishments of this sort are extremely common historically: outlawry, infamy, exile, excommunication, attainder, and civil death form a chain of exclusionary punishments across the centuries.