\ ō-ˈyez How to pronounce oyez (audio) , -ˈyā, -ˈyes; ˈō-ˌyez, -ˌyā How to pronounce oyez (audio) , -ˌyes How to pronounce oyez (audio) \

Definition of oyez

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used by a court or public crier to gain attention before a proclamation


plural oyesses\ ō-​ˈye-​səz How to pronounce oyesses (audio) , ˈō-​ˌye-​səz \

Definition of oyez (Entry 2 of 2)

: a cry of oyez

First Known Use of oyez

Imperative verb

15th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oyez

Imperative verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, hear ye, imperative plural of oir to hear, from Latin audire — more at audible

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Time Traveler

The first known use of oyez was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Oyez.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oyez. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for oyez


verb imperative
\ ō-ˈyez, -ˈyā, -ˈyes; ˈō-ˌ How to pronounce oyez (audio) \

Legal Definition of oyez

used by a court officer (as a bailiff) to gain the attention of people present at the commencement of a judicial proceeding

History and Etymology for oyez

Anglo-French oyez! hear ye!, from Old French oiez oyez, imperative plural of oir to hear, from Latin audire

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