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

  • n. A writ of execution against a debtor by which the debtor's property or goods are delivered to the plaintiff until the debtor can settle the debt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A judicial writ ordering seizure of a debtor's property.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A judicial writ of execution, by which a defendant's goods are appraised and delivered to the plaintiff, and, if not sufficient to satisfy the debt, all of his lands are delivered, to be held till the debt is paid by the rents and profits, or until the defendant's interest has expired.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In law, in England and in some of the United States, a judicial writ of execution, which may at the election of the creditor issue on a judgment or on a forfeiture of recognizance, commanding the sheriff to take the judgment debtor's goods, and, if necessary thereafter, his lands, and deliver them to the judgment creditor, who can retain them until the satisfaction of the judgment.
  • n. The title to land held under execution of a writ of elegit.


Medieval Latin ēlēgit, from Latin, one has chosen (the first word of a phrase frequently used in the writ), third person sing. perfect tense of ēligere, to choose; see elect.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin elegit ("he has chosen") (Wiktionary)



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