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to punish by imposing a fine not fixed by statute.
to punish by inflicting any discretionary or arbitrary penalty.
Historical Examples

The person in whose house the conventicle met, was amerced a like sum with the preacher.
The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part F. David Hume

One found guilty of it could be fined and imprisoned as well as amerced.
Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed. S. A. Reilly

I have been thrust into prison, and amerced in a heavy fine.
Thoughts on African Colonization William Lloyd Garrison

But if servants misbehave themselves, or leave their places, not being regularly discharged, they ought to be amerced or punished.
Everybody’s Business is Nobody’s Business Daniel Defoe

Earls and barons shall be amerced only by their peers, and only in accordance with the seriousness of the offense.
Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed. S. A. Reilly

Such presentments are made by a set of at least twelve men, and the presented person is amerced there and then.
Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed. S. A. Reilly

The fines are so numerous that it almost appears that every person on the estate was amerced from time to time.
A Short History of English Agriculture W. H. R. Curtler

But even in this court it was the law “that none be amerced but by his peers.”
An Essay on the Trial by Jury Lysander Spooner

For a trifling riot in the City (a mere pretext), the mayor and aldermen were amerced in the sum of £6,000.
Old and New London Walter Thornbury

verb (transitive) (obsolete)
(law) to punish by a fine
to punish with any arbitrary penalty

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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