oyer and terminer

oy·​er and ter·​mi·​ner | \ ˌȯi-ər-ən(d)-ˈtər-mə-nər How to pronounce oyer and terminer (audio) \

Definition of oyer and terminer

1 : a commission authorizing a British judge to hear and determine a criminal case at the assizes
2 : a high criminal court in some U.S. states

First Known Use of oyer and terminer

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for oyer and terminer

Middle English, partial translation of Anglo-French oyer et terminer, literally, to hear and determine

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The first known use of oyer and terminer was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Oyer and terminer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oyer%20and%20terminer. Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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