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

  • n. The offense under English law of appealing to or obeying a foreign court or authority, thus challenging the supremacy of the Crown.
  • n. The writ charging this offense.
  • n. The penalty for this offense.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The offence, in English law, of appealing to or obeying a foreign court or authority, especially a papal court or authority.
  • v. To subject to the penalties of praemunire.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The offense of introducing foreign authority into England, the penalties for which were originally intended to depress the civil power of the pope in the kingdom.
  • n. The writ grounded on that offense.
  • n. The penalty ascribed for the offense of præmunire.
  • transitive v. To subject to the penalties of præmunire.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bring within the penalties of a præmunire.
  • n. In English law, a species of writ, or the offense for which it is granted, or the penalty incurred.
  • n. A serious or awkward position; a predicament.
  • n. Another English statute, of 1392, designed to check the power of the Pope in England, by punishing those who procured from the papal authority any process against the king, or his crown or realm.


Short for Middle English premunire facias, a writ of praemunire, from Medieval Latin praemūnīre faciās : praemūnīre, to warn (from Latin, to fortify : prae-, pre- + mūnīre, to defend; see munition) + Latin faciās, that you cause, second person sing. present subjunctive of facere, to do (words used in the writ).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Shortened form of praemunire facias. (Wiktionary)



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  • To my surprise the consensus is that this word is pronounced "pree-myoo-NIGH-ree." The concluding "-nire" cluster rhymes neither with "tire" nor with "ear," as I thought it might. The Brits are to blame.

    In Merry Olde the law once viewed
    The pope a risk to be eschewed.
    Now Rome seems benign
    And Islam malign.
    So everywhere the fear's renewed.

    The rhetoric is loud and fiery
    To thwart the menace in entirety.
    From France to Korea
    They're damning sharia
    And resurrecting praemunire.

    November 7, 2015