Qui-tam definitions

An action that grants the plaintiff a portion of the recovered penalty and gives the rest of it to the state. The plaintiff is said to be suing for the state as well as his or herself.
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(law) A writ whereby a private individual who assists a prosecution can receive all or part of any penalty imposed.
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Origin of qui-tam

Latin qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, "[he] who sues in this matter for the king as [well as] for himself".