outfangthief

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English *outfange(n) thef, from Old English ūtfangen þēof (right of judging thieves caught outside one’s jurisdiction, and of taking fines for the crime), from *ūtfangen, past participle of *ūtfōn (to take out) + þēof (thief), equivalent to out- +‎ fang + thief. Compare infangthief.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

outfangthief (uncountable)

  1. (archaic) The right of a lord to pursue a thief outside the lord's own jurisdiction and bring him back within his jurisdiction to be punished.
    • 1845, John Henry Newman, Lives of the English Saints, ST Freemantle, p. 19:
      But feudalism also contained another principle, and that was, that within his own territory each lord was absolute; his suzerain could not interfere with his jurisdiction; infangthief and outfangthief implied a very perfect and intelligible power of hanging and imprisoning as he pleased.
    • 1822, John Comyns & Anthony Hammond, A Digest of the Laws of England, Butterworth & Son, p. 328:
      A grant of outfangthief imports the trial of those of his fee taken for felony in another precinct.