Wager of law
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 pledge. [1913 Webster]

Besides these plates for horse races, the wagers may be as the persons please. --Sir W. Temple. [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. --Bentley. [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]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • wager of law — an ancient mode of proof that became unpopular because the defendant could call people as witnesses just to testify to his general oath worthiness, even if they knew nothing of the facts of the case. It may have accounted for the ascendancy of… …   Law dictionary

  • Wager of law — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wager of law — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wager of law — Etymology: translation of Medieval Latin vadiatio legis : the act of a party having the negative in an action in early English law in giving a pledge or in binding himself to resort to and abide the event of an attempt to prove his case by the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • wager of law — See trial by wager of law …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Wager of Law — ♦ To wage one s law was to defend an accusation in court by swearing a formal oath of innocence supported by oaths of compurgators, i.e., oath helpers. (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 636) …   Medieval glossary

  • wager of law — In old English practice, the giving of gage or sureties by a defendant in an action of debt that at a certain day assigned he would make his law; that is, would take an oath in open court that he did not owe the debt, and at the same time bring… …   Black's law dictionary

  • wager of law — noun historical a form of trial in which the defendant was required to produce witnesses who would swear to his or her innocence …   English new terms dictionary

  • wager of law of non-summons — In common law pleading, the mode in which a tenant or defendant in a real action pleaded, when the summons which followed the original was not served within the proper time …   Black's law dictionary

  • wager of law of non-summons — In common law pleading, the mode in which a tenant or defendant in a real action pleaded, when the summons which followed the original was not served within the proper time …   Black's law dictionary

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