Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In early English history, a vessel of boiling water into which an accused person plunged his arm as a test of his innocence.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A caldron of boiling water into which an accused person plunged his forearm as a test of innocence or guilt.

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

  • noun obsolete A cauldron of boiling water into which an accused person plunged his forearm as a test of innocence or guilt.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin alfetum, from Anglo-Saxon word meaning "a pot to boil in".

Examples

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Comments

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  • JM proposes that the noble and time honoured test of alfet take the place of all government elections (and it may be a good idea to roll it out for not-for-profit association Boards too).

    May 3, 2010

  • If the wound fails to heal in 3 days it is proof of guilt, according to NPR's Says You!. A basis for "Now you're in hot water!" ?

    January 21, 2017