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From Middle English arreinen, from Old French araisnier (to address, to verify) (whence modern French arraisonner (to verify cargo, to arraign)), from raison (reason).


  • IPA(key): /əˈɹeɪn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪn


arraign (third-person singular simple present arraigns, present participle arraigning, simple past and past participle arraigned)

  1. To officially charge someone in a court of law.
    He was arraigned in Washington, D.C., on the 25th of that month on charges of treason.
    • 2023 March 30, Ben Protess, Jonah E. Bromwich, William K. Rashbaum, Kate Christobek, Nate Schweber, “Trump Is Indicted, Becoming First Ex-President to Face Criminal Charges”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      He will then be arraigned, at which point the specific charges will be unsealed.
  2. To call to account, or accuse, before the bar of reason, taste, or any other tribunal.
    • 1697, Virgil, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      They will not dare to arraign you for want of knowledge.
    • 1832, [Isaac Taylor], Saturday Evening. [], London: Holdsworth and Ball, →OCLC:
      It is not arrogance, but timidity, of which the Christian body should now be arraigned by the world.

Derived terms[edit]



arraign (plural arraigns)

  1. Arraignment.