from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a statute passed for the protection of those who have committed some illegal act subjecting them to penalties.
- n. an act or law passed in order to relieve persons, especially in an official station, from some penalty to which they are liable in consequence of acting illegally, or, in case of ministers, in consequence of exceeding the limits of their strict constitutional powers. These acts also sometimes provide compensation for losses or damage, either incurred in the service of the government, or resulting from some public measure.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Colonel M'Guire's with impunity, the power being now all in the hands of government, and there being no possibility of obtaining from Parliament an act of indemnity for any cruelties.