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trial by ordeal


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun law : Archaic practice by which a person accused of a crime could prove his innocence by his survival of physically painful tests.

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

  • noun a primitive method of determining a person's guilt or innocence by subjecting the accused person to dangerous or painful tests believed to be under divine control; escape was usually taken as a sign of innocence


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