Bill of attainder
Attainder At*tain"der, n. [OF. ataindre, ateindre, to accuse, convict. Attainder is often erroneously referred to F. teindre tie stain. See {Attaint}, {Attain}.] 1. The act of attainting, or the state of being attainted; the extinction of the civil rights and capacities of a person, consequent upon sentence of death or outlawry; as, an act of attainder. --Abbott. [1913 Webster]

Note: Formerly attainder was the inseparable consequence of a judicial or legislative sentence for treason or felony, and involved the forfeiture of all the real and personal property of the condemned person, and such ``corruption of blood'' that he could neither receive nor transmit by inheritance, nor could he sue or testify in any court, or claim any legal protection or rights. In England attainders are now abolished, and in the United States the Constitution provides that no bill of attainder shall be passed; and no attainder of treason (in consequence of a judicial sentence) shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted. [1913 Webster]

2. A stain or staining; state of being in dishonor or condemnation. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

He lived from all attainder of suspect. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Bill of attainder}, a bill brought into, or passed by, a legislative body, condemning a person to death or outlawry, and attainder, without judicial sentence. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • bill of attainder — see bill 1 Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. bill of attainder n …   Law dictionary

  • Bill of attainder — (Act of attainder, engl., spr. ättēnder, Strafbill), in England ein Ausnahmegesetz, durch welches das Parlament in einzelnen Fällen die Befugnis erhält, eine bestimmte Person ohne gerichtliches Verfahren selbst zur Untersuchung zu ziehen und zu… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Bill of Attainder — Bill of At|tain|der [ əv ə teində] die; , s <aus engl. bill of attainder »Ächtungsurkunde«>: 1. in Großbritannien alte Form der Anklage politischer u. schwerer Verbrechen im Gesetzgebungsverfahren unter Verlust der bürgerl. Ehrenrechte u.… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • bill of attainder — n. a legislative enactment by which a person is pronounced guilty, without trial, of an alleged crime, orig. a capital crime, esp. treason: prohibited in the U.S. by the Constitution …   English World dictionary

  • Bill of attainder — A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without benefit of a trial. The United States Constitution forbids both the… …   Wikipedia

  • Bill of Attainder — Unter einer Bill of Attainder (auch Act oder Writ of Attainder) verstand man im englischen Common Law eine strafrechtliche Verurteilung einer Person durch das Parlament. Das Parlament agierte bei dem Verfahren, von dem nur in äußerst seltenen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • bill of attainder — Bills of attainder. Such special acts of the legislature as inflict capital punishments upon persons supposed to be guilty of high offenses, such as treason and felony, without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. If an… …   Black's law dictionary

  • bill of attainder — Bills of attainder. Such special acts of the legislature as inflict capital punishments upon persons supposed to be guilty of high offenses, such as treason and felony, without any conviction in the ordinary course of judicial proceedings. If an… …   Black's law dictionary

  • bill of attainder — bill′ of attain′der n. gov a legislative act finding a person guilty of treason or felony without trial • Etymology: 1860–65 …   From formal English to slang

  • bill of attainder — noun a legislative act finding a person guilty of treason or felony without a trial bills of attainder are prohibited by the Constitution of the United States • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • Hypernyms: ↑bill, ↑measure …   Useful english dictionary

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