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4 definitions found
 for wager of law
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Compurgation \Com`pur*ga"tion\, n. [L. compurgatio, fr.
     compurgare to purify wholly; com- + purgare to make pure. See
     Purge, v. t.]
     1. (Law) The act or practice of justifying or confirming a
        man's veracity by the oath of others; -- called also
        wager of law. See Purgation; also Wager of law,
        under Wager.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Exculpation by testimony to one's veracity or innocence.
        [1913 Webster]
              He was privileged from his childhood from suspicion
              of incontinency and needed no compurgation. --Bp.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Law \Law\ (l[add]), n. [OE. lawe, laghe, AS. lagu, from the root
     of E. lie: akin to OS. lag, Icel. l["o]g, Sw. lag, Dan. lov;
     cf. L. lex, E. legal. A law is that which is laid, set, or
     fixed; like statute, fr. L. statuere to make to stand. See
     Lie to be prostrate.]
     1. In general, a rule of being or of conduct, established by
        an authority able to enforce its will; a controlling
        regulation; the mode or order according to which an agent
        or a power acts.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: A law may be universal or particular, written or
           unwritten, published or secret. From the nature of the
           highest laws a degree of permanency or stability is
           always implied; but the power which makes a law, or a
           superior power, may annul or change it.
           [1913 Webster]
                 These are the statutes and judgments and laws,
                 which the Lord made.               --Lev. xxvi.
           [1913 Webster]
                 The law of thy God, and the law of the King.
                                                    --Ezra vii.
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                 As if they would confine the Interminable . . .
                 Who made our laws to bind us, not himself.
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                 His mind his kingdom, and his will his law.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. In morals: The will of God as the rule for the disposition
        and conduct of all responsible beings toward him and
        toward each other; a rule of living, conformable to
        righteousness; the rule of action as obligatory on the
        conscience or moral nature.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. The Jewish or Mosaic code, and that part of Scripture
        where it is written, in distinction from the gospel;
        hence, also, the Old Testament. Specifically: the first
        five books of the bible, called also Torah, Pentatech,
        or Law of Moses.
        [1913 Webster +PJC]
              What things soever the law saith, it saith to them
              who are under the law . . . But now the
              righteousness of God without the law is manifested,
              being witnessed by the law and the prophets. --Rom.
                                                    iii. 19, 21.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. In human government:
        (a) An organic rule, as a constitution or charter,
            establishing and defining the conditions of the
            existence of a state or other organized community.
        (b) Any edict, decree, order, ordinance, statute,
            resolution, judicial, decision, usage, etc., or
            recognized, and enforced, by the controlling
            [1913 Webster]
     5. In philosophy and physics: A rule of being, operation, or
        change, so certain and constant that it is conceived of as
        imposed by the will of God or by some controlling
        authority; as, the law of gravitation; the laws of motion;
        the law heredity; the laws of thought; the laws of cause
        and effect; law of self-preservation.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. In mathematics: The rule according to which anything, as
        the change of value of a variable, or the value of the
        terms of a series, proceeds; mode or order of sequence.
        [1913 Webster]
     7. In arts, works, games, etc.: The rules of construction, or
        of procedure, conforming to the conditions of success; a
        principle, maxim; or usage; as, the laws of poetry, of
        architecture, of courtesy, or of whist.
        [1913 Webster]
     8. Collectively, the whole body of rules relating to one
        subject, or emanating from one source; -- including
        usually the writings pertaining to them, and judicial
        proceedings under them; as, divine law; English law; Roman
        law; the law of real property; insurance law.
        [1913 Webster]
     9. Legal science; jurisprudence; the principles of equity;
        applied justice.
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              Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law
              itself is nothing else but reason.    --Coke.
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              Law is beneficence acting by rule.    --Burke.
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              And sovereign Law, that state's collected will
              O'er thrones and globes elate,
              Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill. --Sir
                                                    W. Jones.
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     10. Trial by the laws of the land; judicial remedy;
         litigation; as, to go law.
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               When every case in law is right.     --Shak.
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               He found law dear and left it cheap. --Brougham.
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     11. An oath, as in the presence of a court. [Obs.] See Wager
         of law, under Wager.
         [1913 Webster]
     Avogadro's law (Chem.), a fundamental conception, according
        to which, under similar conditions of temperature and
        pressure, all gases and vapors contain in the same volume
        the same number of ultimate molecules; -- so named after
        Avogadro, an Italian scientist. Sometimes called
        Amp[`e]re's law.
     Bode's law (Astron.), an approximative empirical expression
        of the distances of the planets from the sun, as follows:
        -- Mer. Ven. Earth. Mars. Aste. Jup. Sat. Uran. Nep. 4 4 4
        4 4 4 4 4 4 0 3 6 12 24 48 96 192 384 -- -- -- -- -- -- --
        --- --- 4 7 10 16 28 52 100 196 388 5.9 7.3 10 15.2 27.4
        52 95.4 192 300 where each distance (line third) is the
        sum of 4 and a multiple of 3 by the series 0, 1, 2, 4, 8,
        etc., the true distances being given in the lower line.
     Boyle's law (Physics), an expression of the fact, that when
        an elastic fluid is subjected to compression, and kept at
        a constant temperature, the product of the pressure and
        volume is a constant quantity, i. e., the volume is
        inversely proportioned to the pressure; -- known also as
        Mariotte's law, and the law of Boyle and Mariotte.
     Brehon laws. See under Brehon.
     Canon law, the body of ecclesiastical law adopted in the
        Christian Church, certain portions of which (for example,
        the law of marriage as existing before the Council of
        Tent) were brought to America by the English colonists as
        part of the common law of the land. --Wharton.
     Civil law, a term used by writers to designate Roman law,
        with modifications thereof which have been made in the
        different countries into which that law has been
        introduced. The civil law, instead of the common law,
        prevails in the State of Louisiana. --Wharton.
     Commercial law. See Law merchant (below).
     Common law. See under Common.
     Criminal law, that branch of jurisprudence which relates to
     Ecclesiastical law. See under Ecclesiastical.
     Grimm's law (Philol.), a statement (propounded by the
        German philologist Jacob Grimm) of certain regular changes
        which the primitive Indo-European mute consonants,
        so-called (most plainly seen in Sanskrit and, with some
        changes, in Greek and Latin), have undergone in the
        Teutonic languages. Examples: Skr. bh[=a]t[.r], L. frater,
        E. brother, G. bruder; L. tres, E. three, G. drei, Skr.
        go, E. cow, G. kuh; Skr. dh[=a] to put, Gr. ti-qe`-nai, E.
        do, OHG, tuon, G. thun. See also lautverschiebung.
     Kepler's laws (Astron.), three important laws or
        expressions of the order of the planetary motions,
        discovered by John Kepler. They are these: (1) The orbit
        of a planet with respect to the sun is an ellipse, the sun
        being in one of the foci. (2) The areas swept over by a
        vector drawn from the sun to a planet are proportioned to
        the times of describing them. (3) The squares of the times
        of revolution of two planets are in the ratio of the cubes
        of their mean distances.
     Law binding, a plain style of leather binding, used for law
        books; -- called also law calf.
     Law book, a book containing, or treating of, laws.
     Law calf. See Law binding (above).
     Law day.
         (a) Formerly, a day of holding court, esp. a court-leet.
         (b) The day named in a mortgage for the payment of the
             money to secure which it was given. [U. S.]
     Law French, the dialect of Norman, which was used in
        judicial proceedings and law books in England from the
        days of William the Conqueror to the thirty-sixth year of
        Edward III.
     Law language, the language used in legal writings and
     Law Latin. See under Latin.
     Law lords, peers in the British Parliament who have held
        high judicial office, or have been noted in the legal
     Law merchant, or Commercial law, a system of rules by
        which trade and commerce are regulated; -- deduced from
        the custom of merchants, and regulated by judicial
        decisions, as also by enactments of legislatures.
     Law of Charles (Physics), the law that the volume of a
        given mass of gas increases or decreases, by a definite
        fraction of its value for a given rise or fall of
        temperature; -- sometimes less correctly styled Gay
        Lussac's law, or Dalton's law.
     Law of nations. See International law, under
     Law of nature.
         (a) A broad generalization expressive of the constant
             action, or effect, of natural conditions; as, death
             is a law of nature; self-defense is a law of nature.
             See Law, 4.
         (b) A term denoting the standard, or system, of morality
             deducible from a study of the nature and natural
             relations of human beings independent of supernatural
             revelation or of municipal and social usages.
     Law of the land, due process of law; the general law of the
     Laws of honor. See under Honor.
     Laws of motion (Physics), three laws defined by Sir Isaac
        Newton: (1) Every body perseveres in its state of rest or
        of moving uniformly in a straight line, except so far as
        it is made to change that state by external force. (2)
        Change of motion is proportional to the impressed force,
        and takes place in the direction in which the force is
        impressed. (3) Reaction is always equal and opposite to
        action, that is to say, the actions of two bodies upon
        each other are always equal and in opposite directions.
     Marine law, or Maritime law, the law of the sea; a branch
        of the law merchant relating to the affairs of the sea,
        such as seamen, ships, shipping, navigation, and the like.
     Mariotte's law. See Boyle's law (above).
     Martial law.See under Martial.
     Military law, a branch of the general municipal law,
        consisting of rules ordained for the government of the
        military force of a state in peace and war, and
        administered in courts martial. --Kent. --Warren's
     Moral law, the law of duty as regards what is right and
        wrong in the sight of God; specifically, the ten
        commandments given by Moses. See Law, 2.
     Mosaic law, or Ceremonial law. (Script.) See Law, 3.
     Municipal law, or Positive law, a rule prescribed by the
        supreme power of a state, declaring some right, enforcing
        some duty, or prohibiting some act; -- distinguished from
        international law and constitutional law. See Law,
     Periodic law. (Chem.) See under Periodic.
     Roman law, the system of principles and laws found in the
        codes and treatises of the lawmakers and jurists of
        ancient Rome, and incorporated more or less into the laws
        of the several European countries and colonies founded by
        them. See Civil law (above).
     Statute law, the law as stated in statutes or positive
        enactments of the legislative body.
     Sumptuary law. See under Sumptuary.
     To go to law, to seek a settlement of any matter by
        bringing it before the courts of law; to sue or prosecute
        some one.
     To take the law of, or To have the law of, to bring the
        law to bear upon; as, to take the law of one's neighbor.
     Wager of law. See under Wager.
     Syn: Justice; equity.
     Usage: Law, Statute, Common law, Regulation, Edict,
            Decree. Law is generic, and, when used with
            reference to, or in connection with, the other words
            here considered, denotes whatever is commanded by one
            who has a right to require obedience. A statute is a
            particular law drawn out in form, and distinctly
            enacted and proclaimed. Common law is a rule of action
            founded on long usage and the decisions of courts of
            justice. A regulation is a limited and often,
            temporary law, intended to secure some particular end
            or object. An edict is a command or law issued by a
            sovereign, and is peculiar to a despotic government. A
            decree is a permanent order either of a court or of
            the executive government. See Justice.
            [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  wager \wa"ger\ (w[=a]"j[~e]r), n. [OE. wager, wajour, OF.
     wagiere, or wageure, F. gageure. See Wage, v. t.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. Something deposited, laid, or hazarded on the event of a
        contest or an unsettled question; a bet; a stake; a
        [1913 Webster]
              Besides these plates for horse races, the wagers may
              be as the persons please.             --Sir W.
        [1913 Webster]
              If any atheist can stake his soul for a wager
              against such an inexhaustible disproportion, let him
              never hereafter accuse others of credulity.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. (Law) A contract by which two parties or more agree that a
        certain sum of money, or other thing, shall be paid or
        delivered to one of them, on the happening or not
        happening of an uncertain event. --Bouvier.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: At common law a wager is considered as a legal contract
           which the courts must enforce unless it be on a subject
           contrary to public policy, or immoral, or tending to
           the detriment of the public, or affecting the interest,
           feelings, or character of a third person. In many of
           the United States an action can not be sustained upon
           any wager or bet. --Chitty. --Bouvier.
           [1913 Webster]
     3. That on which bets are laid; the subject of a bet.
        [1913 Webster]
     Wager of battel, or Wager of battle (O. Eng. Law), the
        giving of gage, or pledge, for trying a cause by single
        combat, formerly allowed in military, criminal, and civil
        causes. In writs of right, where the trial was by
        champions, the tenant produced his champion, who, by
        throwing down his glove as a gage, thus waged, or
        stipulated, battle with the champion of the demandant,
        who, by taking up the glove, accepted the challenge. The
        wager of battel, which has been long in disuse, was
        abolished in England in 1819, by a statute passed in
        consequence of a defendant's having waged his battle in a
        case which arose about that period. See Battel.
     Wager of law (Law), the giving of gage, or sureties, by a
        defendant in an action of debt, that at a certain day
        assigned he would take a law, or oath, in open court, that
        he did not owe the debt, and at the same time bring with
        him eleven neighbors (called compurgators), who should
        avow upon their oaths that they believed in their
        consciences that he spoke the truth.
     Wager policy. (Insurance Law) See under Policy.
     Wagering contract or gambling contract. A contract which
        is of the nature of wager. Contracts of this nature
        include various common forms of valid commercial
        contracts, as contracts of insurance, contracts dealing in
        futures, options, etc. Other wagering contracts and bets
        are now generally made illegal by statute against betting
        and gambling, and wagering has in many cases been made a
        criminal offence. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
        [1913 Webster]

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  WAGER OF LAW, Eng. law. When an action of debt is brought against a man upon 
  a simple contract, and the defendant pleads nil debit, and concludes his 
  plea with this formula, "And this he is ready to defend against him the said 
  A B and his suit, as the court of our lord the king here shall consider," 
  &c., he is said to wage his law. He is then required to swear he owes the 
  plaintiff nothing, and bring eleven compurgators who will swear they believe 
  him. This mode of trial, is trial by wager of law. 
       2. The wager of law could only be had in actions of debt on simple 
  contract, and actions of detinue; in consequence of this right of the 
  defendant, now actions on simple contracts are brought in assumpsit, and 
  instead of bridging detinue, trover has been substituted. 
       3. If ever wager of law had any existence in the United States, it is 
  now completely abolished. 8 Wheat. 642. Vide Steph. on Plead. 124, 250, and 
  notes, xxxix.; Co. Entr. 119; Mod. Entr. 179; Lilly's Entr. 467; 3 Ch it. 
  Pl. 497; 13 Vin. Ab. 58; Bac. Ab. h.t.; Dane's Ab. Index, h.t. For the 
  origin of this form of trial, vide Steph. on Pl. notes xxxix; Co. Litt. 294, 
  5 3 Bl. Com. 341. 

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