deodand

noun de·o·dand \ ˈdēəˌdand \

Definition of deodand

plural -s
:a thing that by English law before 1846 was forfeited to the crown and thence to pious uses because it had been the immediate cause of the death of a person

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

Origin and Etymology of deodand

Anglo-French deodande, from Medieval Latin deodandum, from Latin Deo dandum that must be given to God


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

spoken rather than written

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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