demurrer

noun (1)
de·​mur·​rer | \ di-ˈmər-ər How to pronounce demurrer (audio) , -ˈmə-rər \

Definition of demurrer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a response in a court proceeding in which the defendant does not dispute the truth of the allegation but claims it is not sufficient grounds to justify legal action

demurrer

noun (2)
de·​mur·​rer | \ di-ˈmər-ər How to pronounce demurrer (audio) \

Definition of demurrer (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that demurs

Did You Know?

A demurrer is a plea in response to an allegation that admits its truth but also asserts that it is not sufficient as a cause of action. In the US, demurrers are no longer used in federal procedure (having been replaced by motions to dismiss or motions for more definite statement) but are still used in some states. A general demurrer challenges the sufficiency of the substance of an allegation, whereas a special demurrer challenges the structure or form of an allegation.

First Known Use of demurrer

Noun (1)

circa 1521, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1711, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for demurrer

Noun (1)

Anglo-French demourer, verb

Noun (2)

demur entry 1

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Time Traveler for demurrer

Time Traveler

The first known use of demurrer was circa 1521

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Cite this Entry

“Demurrer.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demurrer. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for demurrer

demurrer

noun
de·​mur·​rer | \ di-ˈmər-ər How to pronounce demurrer (audio) \

Legal Definition of demurrer

: a plea in response to an allegation (as in a complaint or indictment) that admits its truth but also asserts that it is not sufficient as a cause of action — compare confession and avoidance

Note: Demurrers are no longer used in federal civil or criminal procedure but are still used in some states. General demurrers are replaced in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. Special demurrers are replaced by motions for a more definite statement. In the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a motion to dismiss or to grant appropriate relief takes the place of a demurrer. Demurrers are sometimes used to question a court's jurisdiction.

demurrer to the evidence
: a demurrer that asserts that the evidence is not sufficient to create a question of fact for the jury to decide
general demurrer
: a demurrer that challenges the sufficiency of the substance of allegation
special demurrer
: a demurrer that challenges the structure or form of an allegation as uncertain or ambiguous

Note: A special demurrer must specify the defect in the allegation.

History and Etymology for demurrer

Anglo-French, from demurrer to file a demurrer, literally, to stay, dwell, delay, from Old French demorer, from Latin demorari to delay

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