a mensa et thoro

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin, “from board and bed.”

Adjective[edit]

a mensa et thoro (not comparable)

  1. (historical, law, of a divorce) Such as not to dissolve the marriage bond, but merely to authorize the husband and wife to live apart from each other.
    • 1864, Benjamin Vaughan Abbott, Austin Abbott, A digest of New York Statutes and Reports: From the earliest period to the year 1860, Volume II, 3rd Edition, page 533,
      A divorce a mensa et thoro, obtained by the wife, is not a bar to her right of dower.
    • 2003, B. J. Sokol, Mary Sokol, Shakespeare, Law, and Marriage, page 144,
      The long-defunct possibility of a divorce for adultery allowing remarriage was proposed anew by Cranmer,25 who considered that a divorce a mensa et thoro offended against the duty to cohabit insisted on by the Church.
    • 2006, Shannon McSheffrey, Marriage, Sex, And Civic Culture in Late Medieval London[1], page 23:
      Under specific circumstances, two other kinds of marriage termination, both called divorce (divorcium), could be declared by the ecclesiastical courts of late medieval England: divorce a mensa et thoro ( “from table and bed”) and divorce a vinculo (“from the bond”). [] Divorce a mensa et thoro resulted in what we would term separation.

Adverb[edit]

a mensa et thoro (not comparable)

  1. (historical, law, of a divorce) Such as not to dissolve the marriage bond, but merely to authorize the husband and wife to live apart from each other.
    • 1867, Alexander Mansfield Burrill, Divorce a mensa et thoro, entry in A Law Dictionary and Glossary, page 504,
      By the recent statute 20 & 21 Viet c. 85, § 7, no divorce can in future be granted à mensa et thoro, but a decree of judicial separation is to be pronounced, having the like effect.

Coordinate terms[edit]

See also[edit]