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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Amerce


AMERCE, verb transitive amers'. [A verb formed from a for on or at, from Latin merces, reward.]

1. To inflict a penalty at mercy; to punish by a pecuniary penalty, the amount of which is not fixed by law, but left to the discretion or mercy of the court; as, the court amerced the criminal in the sum of one hundred dollars.

2. To inflict a pecuniary penalty; to punish in general. Milton uses of after amerce; 'Millions of spirits amerced of heaven; ' but this use seems to be a poetic license.