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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English, from Old English wiþernām (seizure, literally a take-back), from Old Norse viðrnam, equivalent to wither- (against) +‎ nim. More at wither, nim.


withername (plural withernames)

  1. (law) A second or reciprocal distress of other goods in lieu of goods which were taken by a first distress and have been eloigned; a taking by way of reprisal

Usage notes[edit]

  • Chiefly used in the expression capias in withernam, which is the name of a writ used in connection with the action of replevin (sometimes called a writ of reprisal), which issues to a defendant in replevin when he has obtained judgment for a return of the chattels replevied, and fails to obtain them on the writ of return.