ar·raign | \ ə-ˈrān \
arraigned; arraigning; arraigns

Definition of arraign 

transitive verb

1 : to call (a defendant) before a court to answer to an indictment : charge

2 : to accuse of wrong, inadequacy, or imperfection

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from arraign

arraignment \-mənt \ noun

Examples of arraign in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Kenol is expected to be arraigned in Worcester District Court on charges of operating to endanger, failure to stop for police, assault with a dangerous weapon, use of a firearm in a felony, and carrying a firearm without a license. Lucas Phillips,, "In separate Worcester attacks, suspect allegedly shoots at bicyclist, and man is wounded in back," 14 July 2018 Berlin is expected to be arraigned on the charges Tuesday in San Mateo County. Fox News, "Northern California arson suspect livestreamed police chase," 10 July 2018 Berlin is expected to be arraigned on the charges Tuesday in San Mateo County. Lorin Eleni Gill, The Seattle Times, "Northern California arson suspect livestreamed police chase," 9 July 2018 Both men were arraigned at Roxbury District Court Thursday, and both are due back in court July 27, according to the clerk’s office. John Hilliard,, "Police arrest two on gun charges after Dorchester traffic stop, violent struggle," 29 June 2018 The three men were arraigned and sent to Monroe County Jail in lieu of bail of $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond. azcentral, "3 Phoenix men suspected of kidnapping a New York college student," 29 June 2018 Morrison, 72, was arraigned on June 15 and pleaded not guilty to one charge of receipt and one charge of possession of child pornography, according to federal court spokesman Abraham Simmons. Susan Dunne,, "Real Art Ways Film Programmer John Morrison Indicted On Child Porn Charges," 27 June 2018 Qinones, 21, wearing a yellow jail jumpsuit, cried at the podium as she was being arraigned and answered questions so softly the judge asked her to speak up. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Pair accused in beating and robbery of taxi driver appear in court," 9 Apr. 2018 Both will be arraigned Monday at Brockton District Court. Elise Takahama,, "Two men arrested in car vandalism spree in Whitman," 14 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arraign.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of arraign

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for arraign

Middle English arreinen, from Anglo-French areisner, arener, from a- (from Latin ad-) + raisner to address, from Vulgar Latin *rationare, from Latin ration-, ratio reason — more at reason

Anglo-French arrainer, from Old French araisnier to address, call to account, from a-, prefix stressing goal of an action + raisnier to speak

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about arraign

Dictionary Entries near arraign


arrack punsch






Statistics for arraign

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arraign

The first known use of arraign was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for arraign



English Language Learners Definition of arraign

law : to state the charges against someone who is accused of a crime in a formal procedure before a judge


transitive verb
ar·raign | \ ə-ˈrān \

Legal Definition of arraign 

: to bring (a defendant) before a judge or magistrate to hear the charges and to plead usually either guilty or not guilty — compare indict

Note: For a person to be formally arraigned, he or she must be called by name before a judge or magistrate. The judge or magistrate makes sure that the defendant is the person named in the complaint, indictment, or information, which is then read to formally notify the defendant of the charges. The defendant may then enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or another plea allowed by law such as nolo contendere. In some cases, as when the defendant is not yet represented by a lawyer, the judge or magistrate may enter a plea of not guilty on the defendant's behalf.

Other words from arraign

arraignment noun

More from Merriam-Webster on arraign

Spanish Central: Translation of arraign

Nglish: Translation of arraign for Spanish Speakers

Comments on arraign

What made you want to look up arraign? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!