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1. Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856)

                               LAW DICTIONARY
                        THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
                                 AND OF THE
       With References to the Civil and Other Systems of Foreign Law
                                John Bouvier
           Ignoratis terminis ignoratur et ars. - Co. Litt. 2 a.
           Je sais que chaque science et chaque art a ses termes
              propres, inconnu au commun des hommes. - Fleury
                                  VOL. I.

                     CHILDS & PETERSON, 124 ARCH STREET

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred
and thirty-nine, BY JOHN BOUVIER, In the Clerk's Office of the District
9Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred
and forty-three, BY JOHN BOUVIER, In the Clerk's Office of the District
Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred
and forty-eight, BY JOHN BOUVIER, In the Clerk's Office of the District
Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand eight hundred
and fifty-two, BY ELIZA BOUVIER and ROBERT E. PETERSON, Trustees, In the
Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of

                        Deacon & Peterson, Printers
                           66 South Third Street.

                              TO THE HONORABLE
                           JOSEPH STORY, L L.D.,
        One of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States
                               AS A TOKEN OF
                                THE AUTHOR.

                            TO THE THIRD EDITION

     Encouraged by the success of this work, the author has endeavored to
render this edition as perfect as it was possible for him to make it.  He
has remoulded very many of the articles contained in the former editions,
and added upwards of twelve hundred new ones.
     To render the work as useful as possible, he has added a very copious
index to the whole, which, at the same time that it will assist the
inquirer, will exhibit the great number of subjects treated in these
     As Kelham's Law Dictionary has been published in this city, and can be
had by those who desire to possess it, that work has not been added as an
appendix to this edition.
                       Philadelphia, November, 1848.

                           TO THE FOURTH EDITION

     Since the publication of the last edition of this work, its author,
sincerely devoted to the advancement of his profession, has given to the
world his Institutes of American Law, in 4 vols. Svo.  Always endeavoring to
render his Dictionary as perfect as possible, he was constantly revising it;
and whenever he met with an article which he had omitted, he immediately
prepared it for a new edition.  After the completion of his Institutes, in
September last, laboring to severely, he fell a victim to his zeal, and died
on the 18th of November, 1851, at the age of sixty-four.
     In preparing this edition, not only has the matter left by its author
been made use of, but additional matter has been added, so that the present
will contain nearly one-third more than the last edition.  Under one head,
that of Maxims, nearly thirteen hundred new articles have been added.  The
book has been carefully examined, a great portion of it by two members of
the bar, in order that it might be purged, as far as possible, from all
errors of every description.  The various changes in the constitutions of the
states made since the last edition, have been noticed, so far as was
compatible with this work; and every effort made to render it as perfect as
a work of the kind would permit, in order that it might still sustain the
reputation given to it by a Dublin barrister, "of being a work of a most
elaborate character, as compared with English works of a similar nature, and
one which should be in every library."
     That it may still continue to receive the approbation of the Bench and
Bar of the United States, is the sincere desire of the widow and daughter of
its author.


To the difficulties which the author experienced on his admission to the
bar, the present publication is to be attributed.  His endeavours to get
forward in his profession were constantly obstructed, and his efforts for a
long time frustrated, for want of that knowledge which his elder brethren of
the bar seemed to possess.  To find among the reports and the various
treatises on the law the object of his inquiry, was a difficult task; he was
in a labyrinth without a guide: and much of the time which was spent in
finding his way out, might, with the friendly assistance of one who was
acquainted with the construction of the edifice, have been saved, and more
profitably employed.  He applied to law dictionaries and digests within his
reach, in the hope of being directed to the source whence they derived their
learning, but be was too often disappointed; they seldom pointed out the
authorities where the object of his inquiry might be found.  It is true such
works contain a great mass of information, but from the manner in which they
have been compiled, they sometimes embarrassed him more than if he had not
consulted them.  They were written for another country, possessing laws
different from our own, and it became a question how far they were or were
not applicable here.  Besides, most of the matter in the English law
dictionaries will be found to have been written while the feudal law was in
its full vigor, and not fitted to the present times, nor calculated for
present use, even in England.  And there is a great portion which, though
useful to an [vii] English lawyer, is almost useless to the American
student.  What, for example, have we to do with those laws of Great Britain
which relate to the person of their king, their nobility, their clergy,
their navy, their army; with their game laws; their local statutes, such as
regulate their banks, their canals, their exchequer, their marriages, their
births, their burials, their beer and ale houses, and a variety of similar
     The most modern law dictionaries are compilations from the more
ancient, with some modifications and alterations and, in many instances,
they are servile copies, without the slightest alteration.  In the mean time
the law has undergone a great change.  Formerly the principal object of the
law seemed to be to regulate real property, in all its various artificial
modifications, while little or no attention was bestowed upon the rules
which govern personal property and rights.  The mercantile law has since
arisen, like a bright pyramid, amid the gloom of the feudal law, and is now
far more important in practice, than that which refers to real estate.  The
law of real property, too, has changed, particularly in this country.
     The English law dictionaries would be very unsatisfactory guides, even
in pointing out where the laws relating to the acquisition and transfer of
real estate, or the laws of descent in the United States, are to be found.
And the student who seeks to find in the Dictionaries of Cowel, Manly,
Jacobs, Tomlins, Cunningham, Burn, Montefiore, Pott, Whishaw, Williams, the
Termes de Ley, or any similar compilation, any satisfactory account in
relation to international law, to trade and commerce, to maritime law, to
medical jurisprudence, or to natural law, will probably not be fully
gratified.  He cannot, of course, expect to find in them anything in
relation to our government, our constitutions, or our political or civil
     It occurred to the author that a law dictionary, written entirely
anew, and calculated to remedy those defects, would be useful to the
profession.  Probably overrating his strength, he resolved to undertake the
task, and if he should not fully succeed, he will have the consolation to
know, that his effort may induce some more gifted individual, and better
qualified by his learning, to undertake such a task, and to render the
American bar an important service.  Upon an examination of the constitution
and laws of the United States, and of the several states of the American
Union, he perceived many technical expressions and much valuable information
which he would be able to  incorporate in his work.  Many of these laws,
although local in their nature, will be found useful to every lawyer,
particularly those engaged in mercantile practice.  As instances of such laws
the reader is referred to the articles Acknowledgment, Descent, Divorce,
Letters of Administration, and Limitatio.  It is within the plan of this
work to explain such technical expressions as relate to the legislative,
executive, or judicial departments of the government; the political and the
civil rights and duties of the citizens; the rights and duties of persons,
particularly such as are peculiar to our institutions, as, the rights of
descent and administration; of the mode of acquiring and transferring
property; to the criminal law, and its administration.  It has also been an
object with the author to embody in his work such decisions of the courts as
appeared to him to be important, either because they differed from former
judgments, or because they related to some point which was before either
obscure or unsettled.  He does not profess to have examined or even referred
to all the American cases; it is a part of the plan, however, to refer to
authorities, generally, which will lead the student to nearly all the cases.
     The author was induced to believe, that an occasional comparison of the
civil, canon, and other systems of foreign law, with our own,[ix] would be
useful to the profession, and illustrate many articles which, without such
aid, would not appear very clear; and also to introduce many terms from
foreign laws, which may supply a deficiency in ours.  The articles
Condonation, Extradition, and Novation, are of this sort.  He was induced to
adopt this course because the civil law has been considered, perhaps not
without justice, the best system of written reason, and as all laws are or
ought to be founded in reason, it seemed peculiarly proper to have recourse
to this fountain of wisdom: but another motive influenced this decision; one
of the states of the Union derives most of its civil regulations from the
civil law; and there seemed a peculiar propriety, therefore, in introducing
it into an American law dictionary.  He also had the example of a Story, a
Kent, Mr. Angell, and others, who have ornamented their works from the same
source.  And he here takes the opportunity to acknowledge the benefits which
he has derived from the learned labors of these gentlemen, and of those of
Judge Sergeant, Judge Swift, Judge Gould, Mr. Rawle, and other writers on
American law and jurisprudence.
     In the execution of his plan, the author has, in the first place,
defined and explained the various words and phrases, by giving their most
enlarged meaning, and then all the shades of signification of which they are
susceptible; secondly, he has divided the subject in the manner which to him
appeared the most natural, and laid down such principles and rules as belong
to it; in these cases he has generally been careful to give an illustration,
by citing a case whenever the subject seemed to require it, and referring to
others supporting the same point; thirdly, whenever the article admitted of
it, he has compared it with the laws of other countries within his reach,
and pointed out their concord or disagreement; and, fourthly, he has
referred to the authorities, the abridgments, digests, and the [x] ancient
and modem treatises, where the subject is to be found, in order to
facilitate the researches of the student.  He desires not to be understood
as professing to cite cases always exactly in point; on the contrary, in
many instances the authorities will probably be found to be but distantly
connected with the subject under examination, but still connected with it,
and they have been added in order to lead the student to matter of which he
may possibly be in pursuit.
     To those who are aware of the difficulties of the task, the author
deems it unnecessary to make any apology for the imperfections which may be
found in the work.  His object has been to be useful; if that has been
accomplished in any degree, he will be amply rewarded for his labor; and he
relies upon the generous liberality of the members of the profession to
overlook the errors which may have been committed in his endeavors to serve
                       PHILADELPHIA, September, 1839.

                               LAW DICTIONARY

A, the first letter of the English and most other alphabets, is frequently
used as an abbreviation, (q.v.) and also in the marks of schedules or
papers, as schedule A, B, C, &c.  Among the Romans this letter was used in
criminal trials.  The judges were furnished with small tables covered with
wax, and each one inscribed on it the initial letter of his vote; A, when he
voted to absolve the party on trial; C, when he was for condemnation; and N
L, (non liquet) when the matter did not appear clearly, and be desired a new

Thesaurus Results for 00-database-info:

1. Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
00-database-info Title: Moby Thesaurus II Author: Grady Ward, [email protected] Edition: 1.0 Moby (tm) Thesaurus II Documentation Notes This documentation, the software and/or database are: Public Domain material by grant from the author, January, 2001. Moby Thesaurus is the largest and most comprehensive thesaurus data source in English available for commercial use. This second edition has been thoroughly revised adding more than 5,000 root words (to total more than 30,000) with an additional _million_ synonyms and related terms (to total more than 2.5 _million_ synonyms and related terms).
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