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 comp&umacron;rgati&omacron;, comp&umacron;rgati&omacron;n-, complete purification, from Latin comp&umacron;rgatus, past participle of comp&umacron;rgare, to purify completely : com-, intensive pref.; see com– + p&umacron;rgare, to purify; see peu&schwa;- in Indo-European roots.
From Latin compurgātiōnem, from compurgāre (“to purify”).