The DICT Development Group
1 definition found
for Act of attainder
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Act \Act\ ([a^]kt), n. [L. actus, fr. agere to drive, do: cf. F.
acte. See Agent.]
1. That which is done or doing; the exercise of power, or the
effect, of which power exerted is the cause; a
performance; a deed.
That best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love. --Wordsworth.
[1913 Webster] Hence, in specific uses:
(a) The result of public deliberation; the decision or
determination of a legislative body, council, court of
justice, etc.; a decree, edit, law, judgment, resolve,
award; as, an act of Parliament, or of Congress.
(b) A formal solemn writing, expressing that something has
been done. --Abbott.
(c) A performance of part of a play; one of the principal
divisions of a play or dramatic work in which a
certain definite part of the action is completed.
(d) A thesis maintained in public, in some English
universities, by a candidate for a degree, or to show
the proficiency of a student.
2. A state of reality or real existence as opposed to a
possibility or possible existence. [Obs.]
The seeds of plants are not at first in act, but in
possibility, what they afterward grow to be.
3. Process of doing; action. In act, in the very doing; on
the point of (doing). "In act to shoot." --Dryden.
This woman was taken . . . in the very act. --John
Act of attainder. (Law) See Attainder.
Act of bankruptcy (Law), an act of a debtor which renders
him liable to be adjudged a bankrupt.
Act of faith. (Ch. Hist.) See Auto-da-F['e].
Act of God (Law), an inevitable accident; such
extraordinary interruption of the usual course of events
as is not to be looked for in advance, and against which
ordinary prudence could not guard.
Act of grace, an expression often used to designate an act
declaring pardon or amnesty to numerous offenders, as at
the beginning of a new reign.
Act of indemnity, a statute passed for the protection of
those who have committed some illegal act subjecting them
to penalties. --Abbott.
Act in pais, a thing done out of court (anciently, in the
country), and not a matter of record.
Syn: See Action.
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