Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To command or enjoin solemnly, as under oath: "adjuring her in the name of God to declare the truth” ( Increase Mather).
  • transitive v. To appeal to or entreat earnestly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To issue a formal command, especially in a legal context.
  • v. To earnestly appeal or advise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To charge, bind, or command, solemnly, as if under oath, or under the penalty of a curse; to appeal to in the most solemn or impressive manner; to entreat earnestly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To charge, bind, or command, earnestly and solemnly, often with an appeal to God or the invocation of a curse in case of disobedience; hence, to entreat or request earnestly: as, “I adjure thee by the living God,” Mat. xxvi. 63; his friend adjured him to be careful.
  • To swear by: as, to adjure the holy name of God.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. ask for or request earnestly
  • v. command solemnly

Etymologies

Middle English adjuren, from Latin adiūrāre, to swear to : ad-, ad- + iūrāre, to swear; see yewes- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin adiūrō ("beg earnestly"), from ad- ("near, at; towards, to")' + iūrō ("swear by oath"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Obj. 3: Further, to adjure is to induce a person to swear.

    Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province

  • God: God alone, 92, 247; in what sense we "adjure" Him in our prayers, 148; by prayer we become His beggars, 79, 110;

    On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

  • The word "adjure", i.e., cause to swear is used with reference to the casting out of demons (Acts 19: 13).

    Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • You, on the other hand, adjure that my posts are "frothed with more like despair, and dissatisfaction", and are "almost void or lacking the bolstering of support her new found home town direly needs".

    Page 2

  • On thee I call, and thee adjure, Eurotas green with river-reeds, to tell me if this rumour of my husband's death be true.

    Helen

  • Tell me, I adjure thee, how wert thou from my home conveyed?

    Helen

  • Thou hast undone me, nurse; I do adjure by the gods, mention that man no more.

    Hippolytus

  • I adjure thee by the gods, compel me not to sin against thee, nor sin thyself.

    Iphigenia at Aulis

  • Yea, by heaven I adjure you; help, your aid is needed.

    Medea

  • Yet so far as I may and can, I raise for them a dirge, and do adjure the gods to witness how thou hast slain my sons, and wilt not suffer me to embrace or bury their dead bodies.

    Medea

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