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From medieval Latin alfetum, from Old English alfæt (fire-vat), from āl (fire) + fæt (vat).


alfet (plural alfets)

  1. (obsolete) A cauldron of boiling water into which an accused person plunged his forearm as a test of innocence or guilt.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for alfet in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913)