champerty

noun

cham·​per·​ty ˈcham-pər-tē How to pronounce champerty (audio)
: a proceeding by which a person not a party in a suit bargains to aid in or carry on its prosecution or defense in consideration of a share of the matter in suit
champertous adjective

Word History

Etymology

Middle English champartie, from Anglo-French, from champart share in litigious property, from champ field (from Latin campus) + part portion — more at part

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of champerty was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near champerty

Cite this Entry

“Champerty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/champerty. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition

champerty

noun
cham·​per·​ty ˈcham-pər-tē How to pronounce champerty (audio)
plural champerties
: an unenforceable agreement by which a person with otherwise no interest in a lawsuit agrees to aid in or carry on its litigation in consideration of a share of the subject matter of the suit (as property or damages) compare maintenance
Etymology

Anglo-French champartie bargaining for a share of disputed property, from champart share of crops paid as rent, share of property in dispute, from champ field + part portion

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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