Trending: arraign

Lookups spiked 2,672% April 4th, 2023

Why are people looking up arraign?

Arraign trended sharply in lookups on April 4th, 2023, as Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States, was himself arraigned in New York City.

Donald J. Trump has spent much of his life courting the cameras, but on Tuesday, when he is arraigned on criminal charges in a Manhattan courtroom, the full proceedings won’t be broadcast or photographed.
— Daniel Victor, The New York Times, 4 Apr. 2023

What does arraign mean?

We define arraign as “to bring (a defendant) before a judge or magistrate to hear the charges and to plead usually either guilty or not guilty.” The word differs in meaning from indict (another word that has spiked in lookups of late), which is “to charge with a crime by the finding or presentment of a grand jury in due form of law.”

Where does arraign come from?

Arraign, like most English legal vocabulary, comes from French, although it can be traced before that to the Latin word that means "reckoning, calculation, explanation" (ratiō). The same Latin root gave us other words that relate to reason and logic, such as ratiorational, and reason.

What is notable about this use of arraign?

Our Legal Dictionary offers the following additional information about arraign:

"For a person to be formally arraigned, he or she must be called by name before a judge or magistrate. The judge or magistrate makes sure that the defendant is the person named in the complaint, indictment, or information, which is then read to formally notify the defendant of the charges. The defendant may then enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or another plea allowed by law such as nolo contendere. In some cases, as when the defendant is not yet represented by a lawyer, the judge or magistrate may enter a plea of not guilty on the defendant's behalf."

Trend Watch is a data-driven report on words people are looking up at much higher search rates than normal. While most trends can be traced back to the news or popular culture, our focus is on the lookup data rather than the events themselves.

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