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From Middle French mulcter (to fine, punish), from Latin multa (penalty, fine)


  • IPA(key): /mʌlkt/
  • Rhymes: -ʌlkt
  • (file)


mulct (plural mulcts)

  1. (law) A fine or penalty, especially a pecuniary one.
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, I:
      juries cast up what a wife is worth, / By laying whate'er sum in mulct they please on / The lover, who must pay a handsome price, / Because it is a marketable vice.
    • 1846, Thomas Babington Macauley, The History of England from the Accession of James II, Volume 3, Porter & Coates, Chapter XI:
      The Act of Uniformity had laid a mulct of a hundred pounds on every person who, not having received episcopal ordination, should presume to administer the Eucharist.
    • 1846, William H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic, 10th ed., Volume I, page xxxvi, note
      [] by the Salic law, no higher mulct was imposed for killing, than for kidnapping a slave.



mulct (third-person singular simple present mulcts, present participle mulcting, simple past and past participle mulcted)

  1. To impose such a fine or penalty.
    • 1897, Robert Seymour Conway, The Italic Dialects, Cambridge University Press, page 370:
      None of their numerous quarrels with Rome from 437 (?) B.C. onwards (Liv. 4. 17) led to any decisive result until their rebellion in the year 341 B.C., when the city, despite its strong position on a hill with steep sides, was taken (e.g. Polyb. 1. 65) and mulcted of half its territory.
    • 1960, P[elham] G[renville] Wodehouse, chapter XVI, in Jeeves in the Offing, London: Herbert Jenkins, OCLC 1227855:
      I say that I have seen the current issue of the Thursday Review, and I can quite understand him wanting to mulct the journal in substantial damages []
  2. To swindle (someone) out of money.