Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb Law To call (an accused person) before a criminal court to hear and answer the charge made against him or her.
  • transitive verb To call to account; accuse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Arraignment: as, the clerk of the arraigns. Blackstone.
  • 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.

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

  • noun Arraignment.
  • transitive verb (Old Eng. Law) To appeal to; to demand.
  • transitive verb (Law) 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 verb To call to account, or accuse, before the bar of reason, taste, or any other tribunal.

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

  • verb To officially charge someone in a court of law.

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

  • verb call before a court to answer an indictment
  • verb accuse of a wrong or an inadequacy

Etymologies

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

Examples

  • 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!

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • 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.

    Ben Berkon: Gaddafi Found Playing Dominoes in Washington Heights

  • 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.

    Arvind Ganesan: Higher Education's Dirty Little Secret

  • 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

  • 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.

    Arvind Ganesan: Higher Education's Dirty Little Secret

  • 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.

    Ben Berkon: Gaddafi Found Playing Dominoes in Washington Heights

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

    Defense Attorneys Acknowledge Journalists Died in 2009 Philippines Massacre

  • 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.

    Post-American Presidency

  • 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.

    Post-American Presidency

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