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

  • interj. Used three times in succession to introduce the opening of a court of law.
  • n. This cry, used to open a court.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. Hear ye. Attend. (Called by public criers or in court usually three times to secure silence).
  • n. A cry of "oyez".

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • interj. Hear; attend; -- a term used by criers of courts to secure silence before making a proclamation. It is repeated three times.


Middle English, from Anglo-Norman French hear ye, imperative pl. of oyer, to hear, from Latin audīre.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman and Middle French oyez, oiez, imperative plural of oir ("to hear"), from Old French oïr ("to hear"), from Latin audiō ("to hear"). (Wiktionary)


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