the former practice of clearing an accused person by the oaths of others testifying to that person's innocence
Origin of compurgationLate Latin compurgatio, a purifying from Classical Latin compurgatus, past participle of compurgare, to purge, purify from com-, intensive + purgare, to purge
An ancient form of trial in which an accused person could call a number of people, usually 12, to swear to their belief in his or her innocence.
Origin of compurgationLate Latin compūrgātiō compūrgātiōn- complete purification from Latin compūrgātus past participle of compūrgāre to purify completely com- intensive pref. ; see com- . pūrgāre to purify ; see peuə- in Indo-European roots.
From Latin compurgātiōnem, from compurgāre (“to purify”).