Did You Know?
To delate someone is to "hand down" that person to a court of law. In Latin, delatus is the unlikely-looking past participle of deferre, meaning "to bring down, report, or accuse," which in turn comes from ferre, meaning "to carry." Not surprisingly, our word defer, meaning "to yield to the opinion or wishes of another," can also be traced back to deferre. At one time, in fact, defer and delate had parallel meanings (both could mean "to carry down or away" or "to offer for acceptance"), but those senses are now obsolete. Today, you are most likely to encounter delate or its relatives delation and delator in the context of medieval tribunals, although the words can also relate to modern ecclesiastical tribunals.
Hepzibah was brought to trial after being delated for the practice of witchcraft.
"Persons who are delated must first swear to tell the truth concerning themselves and others; if they confess, the judge proceeds accordingly." — H. Ansgar Kelly, Speculum, October 1993
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
Unscramble the letters to create a noun derived from Latin ferre (meaning "to carry") that carries the meanings of "inference" and "a conclusion inferred": NILOILAT.VIEW THE ANSWER
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