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

  • noun A set of written criminal charges issued against a party, where a grand jury, under the guidance of a prosecutor, has found that sufficient evidence exists to justify trying the party for that crime.
  • noun The act or process of obtaining such charges.
  • noun A document or other communication that makes accusations of wrongdoing or describes an unacceptable situation:

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of indicting; accusation; formal charge or statement of grievances; formal complaint before a tribunal.
  • noun In law, the formal complaint by which a criminal offense, found by the grand jury to have been committed, is by it charged against the supposed offender for presentation to the court, that he may be put on trial.
  • noun In Scots law, a form or process by which a criminal is brought to trial at the instance of the lord advocate.

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

  • noun The act of indicting, or the state of being indicted.
  • noun (Law) The formal statement of an offense, as framed by the prosecuting authority of the State, and found by the grand jury.
  • noun An accusation in general; a formal accusation.
  • noun See under Bill.

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

  • noun an accusation of wrongdoing
  • noun a formal document written for a prosecuting attorney charging a person with some offense


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

18th century Latinized respelling of Middle English endytement ("action of accusing"), from Anglo-Norman enditement, from enditer



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  • While as a description of reality this was probably accurate, it fails as an indictment.

    September 14, 2010