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


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

Middle English arreinen, from Old French araisnier, from Vulgar Latin *adratiōnāre, to call to account : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin ratiō, ratiōn-, account; see reason.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French arraisonner (to verify the cargo of a vessel or avion), from raison


  • 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!

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

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  • 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.

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

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  • 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.

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

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