Definition of Attainder

1. Noun. Cancellation of civil rights.

Exact synonyms: Civil Death
Generic synonyms: Cancellation

Definition of Attainder

1. n. 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.

Definition of Attainder

1. Noun. (legal rare) The state a prisoner enters once a death sentence (usually for treason) had been issued; the state of being stripped of all civil rights. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Attainder

1. [n -S]

Medical Definition of Attainder

1. 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. 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. 2. A stain or staining; state of being in dishonor or condemnation. "He lived from all attainder of suspect." (Shak) 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. Origin: OF. Ataindre, ateindre, to accuse, convict. Attainder is often erroneously referred to F. Teindre tie stain. See Attaint, Attain. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Attainder Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Attainder

attainder (current term)
attainment area

Literary usage of Attainder

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. United States Supreme Court Reports by Lawyers Co-operative Publishing Company, United States Supreme Court (1912)
"163, it is said: "attainder is the stain or corruption of the blood of a ... Jacobs states further, "acts of attainder of criminals have been passed in ..."

2. A Short Constitutional History of England by Henry St. Clair Feilden (1895)
"Bill of attainder is a Bill passed by Parliament for the ? ... Bills of attainder were freely used during the wars of the Roses (eg a Bill of attainder was ..."

3. Commentaries on Law: Embracing Chapters on the Nature, the Source, and the by Francis Wharton (1884)
"Bill of attainder" is a procedure with which the framers of the constitution ... Both parties, in the revolutionary struggle, had used bills of attainder to ..."

4. Encyclopaedia Britannica, a Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and edited by Hugh Chisholm (1910)
"Conviction ithout judgment was not followed by attainder. ... Forfeitures of goods .nd chattels ensued not only on attainder, but on conviction or a felony ..."

5. War Powers Under the Constitution of the United States by William Whiting (1864)
"WHAT IS A BILL OF attainder ? Wherein does it differ from other statutes for the punishment ... A "bill of attainder," in the technical language of the law, ..."

6. A Treatise on the Constitutional Limitations which Rest Upon the Legislative by Thomas McIntyre Cooley (1878)
"The last Story on Constitution, ยง 1344; Cum- infliction of capital punishment in minga r. Missouri, 4 Wall. 277; Ex England, under a hill of attainder, ..."

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