Definitions

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

  • transitive v. Law To call (an accused person) before a court to answer the charge made against him or her by indictment, information, or complaint.
  • transitive v. To call to account; accuse: "Johnson arraigned the modern politics of this country as entirely devoid of all principle” ( James Boswell).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To officially charge someone in a court of law.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Arraignment.
  • transitive v. To call or set as a prisoner at the bar of a court to answer to the matter charged in an indictment or complaint.
  • transitive v. To call to account, or accuse, before the bar of reason, taste, or any other tribunal.
  • transitive v. To appeal to; to demand.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In law, to call to or set at the bar of a court, in order to plead guilty or not guilty to the matter charged in an indictment or information.
  • Hence To call in question for faults, before any tribunal; call before the bar of reason or of taste; accuse or charge in general.
  • Synonyms Accuse, Charge, Indict. See accuse.
  • In old law, to appeal to; claim; demand: in the phrase to arraign an assize, to demand, and hence to institute or prepare, a trial or an action.
  • n. Arraignment: as, the clerk of the arraigns. Blackstone.

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

  • v. call before a court to answer an indictment
  • v. accuse of a wrong or an inadequacy

Etymologies

Middle English arreinen, from Old French araisnier, from Vulgar Latin *adratiōnāre, to call to account : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin ratiō, ratiōn-, account; see reason.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French arraisonner (to verify the cargo of a vessel or avion), from raison (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To "arraign" was to summon ad rationes to the pleadings.

    Playful Poems

  • And oh, how many good men and women have I heard bitterly arraign society in that in the begetting of children it does not exercise the judgment which it exercises in breeding its horses and its dogs!

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • According to sources, Libyan officials plan to immediately arraign Gaddafi and put him on trial, but have agreed to let him finish a quick game to 100.

    Ben Berkon: Gaddafi Found Playing Dominoes in Washington Heights

  • A year later, though, the commission said it had completed its investigation into Odili's "wanton looting of the treasury of Rivers State" and was ready to arraign him on corruption charges.

    Arvind Ganesan: Higher Education's Dirty Little Secret

  • In other developments Thursday, the judge trying the case declined to arraign any of the suspects, prompting anger from some relatives of victims.

    Defense Attorneys Acknowledge Journalists Died in 2009 Philippines Massacre

  • Many critics have sought to keep literary criticism well away from the literary and instead to arraign literature as largely a product of social oppression, complicit in it or at best offering a resistance already contained.

    Philosophy and Literature

  • It would also put US servicemen at the mercy of any American-hating opportunists who might choose to arraign them on trumped-up charges before an alien court whose judges are likely to be ill-disposed towards America too.

    Post-American Presidency

  • Might we now see moves by 'human rights' activists to arraign British officials and politicians for having funded the torture of Palestinians by Palestinians?

    Tortured reasoning

  • Yet we can be certain that our grandchildren will arraign us for evils we have committed, and will express amazement that we barely noticed them at the time.

    The Spectator's Notes

  • Prosecutors will arraign a grandson of Walt Disney today on 20 felony counts of possessing illegal weapons and drugs.

    Open Thread for New Year's Eve

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