plural -s
: the action of taking by way of reprisal : a second or reciprocal distress of other goods in lieu of goods taken by a first distress and eloigned
: a writ used in connection with the action of replevin that issues to a defendant in replevin when the defendant has obtained judgment for a return of the chattels replevied and fails to obtain them on the writ of return and that authorizes the taking of other goods of the same value

called also capias in withernam, writ of reprisal

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Old English wither against + nām seizure, from niman to take

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Dictionary Entries Near withernam

Cite this Entry

“Withernam.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/withernam. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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