amerce (third-person singular simple present amerces, present participle amercing, simple past and past participle amerced)
1.to punish by imposing a fine not fixed by statute.
2.to punish by inflicting any discretionary or arbitrary penalty.
1. (law) to punish by a fine
2. to punish with any arbitrary penalty Derived Formsamerceable, adjectiveamercement, nounamercer, noun Word OriginC14, from Anglo-French amercier, from Old French à merci at the mercy (because the fine was arbitrarily fixed); see mercyCollins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollinsPublishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source
1215, earlier amercy, Anglo-French amercier "to fine," from merci "mercy, grace" (see mercy). The legal phrase estre a merci "to be at the mercy of" (a tribunal, etc.) was corrupted to estre amercié in an example of how a legalese adverbial phrase can become a verb (cf. abandon). The sense often was "to fine arbitrarily."Frans hom ne seit amerciez pour petit forfet. [Magna Charta]Related, Amercement; amerciable.
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