Dictionary: A-MEND' – A-MER'I-CAN-IZE

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A-MEND', n. [Fr.]

A pecuniary punishment, or fine. The amende honorable, in France, is an infamous punishment inflicted on traitors, parricides and sacrilegious persons. The offender, being led into court with a rope about his neck, begs pardon of his God, the court, &c. These words denote also a recantation in open court, or in presence of the injured person. – Encyc.

A-MEND', v.i.

To grow or become better, by reformation, or rectifying something wrong in manners or morals. It differs from improve, in this, that to amend implies something previously wrong; to improve, does not.

A-MEND', v.t. [Fr. amender; L. emendo, of e neg. and menda, mendum, a fault; W. mann, a spot or blemish; Sp. and Port. emendar; It. ammendare. See Mend.]

  1. To correct; to rectify by expunging a mistake; as, to amend a law.
  2. To reform, by quitting bad habits; to make better in a moral sense; as, to amend our ways or our conduct.
  3. To correct; to supply a defect; to improve or make better, by some addition of what is wanted, as well as by expunging what is wrong; as, to amend a bill before a legislature. Hence it is applied to the correction of authors, by restoring passages which had been omitted, or restoring the true reading.


That may be amended; capable of correction; as, an amendable writ or error.


That amends; supplying amendment; corrective.

A-MENDE', n. [Fr.]

A fine or penalty. Amende honorable. An ignominous punishment.

A-MEND'ED, pp.

Corrected; rectified; reformed; improved, or altered for the better.


The person that amends.


Full of improvement.

A-MEND'ING, ppr.

Correcting; reforming; altering for the better.


  1. An alteration or change for the better; correction of a fault or faults; reformation of life, by quitting vices.
  2. A word, clause or paragraph, added or proposed to be added to a bill before a legislature.
  3. In law, the correction of an error in a writ or process. Shakspeare uses it for the recovery of health, but this sense is unusual.

A-MENDS', n. [plur. Fr. amende.]

Compensation for an injury; recompense; satisfaction; equivalent; as, the happiness of a future life will more than make amends for the miseries of this.

A-MEN'I-TY, n. [L. amænitas; Fr. aménité; L. amænus; W. mwyn, good, kind.]

Pleasantness; agreeableness of situation; that which delights the eye; used of places and prospects. – Brown.

A-MENSA-ET-TORO, adv. [or adj. A mensa et toro; L.]

From board and bed. A divorce from board and bed is when husband and wife separate, but the husband maintains the wife.

AM'ENT, or A-MENT'UM, n. [L. amentum, a thong, or strap.]

  1. In botany, a species of inflorescence, consisting of many scales, ranged along a stalk or slender axis, which is the common receptacle; as in birch, oak, chestnut. – Martyn.
  2. A spike, the bracts of which are all of equal size, closely imbricated, and which is articulated with the stem. – Lindley.


Growing in an ament; resembling a thong; as, the chestnut has an amentaceous inflorescence. – Martyn.

A-MERCE', v.t. [amers'; A verb formed from a for on or at, and Fr. merci, mercy, or from L. merces, reward.]

  1. To inflict a penalty at mercy; to punish by a pecuniary penalty, the amount of which is not fixed by law, but left to the discretion or mercy of the court; as, the court amerced the criminal in the sum of one hundred dollars.
  2. To inflict a pecuniary penalty; to punish in general. Milton uses of after amerce: "Obvious of spirits amerced of heaven;" but this use seems to be a poetic license.

A-MER'CED, pp.

Fined at the discretion of a court.

A-MERC'E-MENT, n. [amers'ment.]

A pecuniary penalty inflicted on an offender at the discretion of the court. It differs from a fine, in that the latter is, or was originally, a fined and certain sum prescribed by statute for an offense; but an amercement is arbitrary. Hence the practice of affeering. [See Affeer.] But in America, the word fine is now used for a pecuniary penalty which is uncertain; and it is common in statutes, to enact that an offender shall be fined, at the discretion of the court. In England also, fines are now usually discretionary. Thus the word fine has, in a measure, superseded the use of amercement. This word, in old books, is written amerciament. Amercement royal is a penalty imposed on an officer for a misdemeanor in his office.


One who sets a fine at discretion upon an offender.

A-MER'I-CA, n. [From Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine, who pretended to have first discovered the western continent.]

One of the great continents, first discovered by Sebastian Cabot, June 11, O. S. 1498, and by Columbus, or Christoval Colon, Aug. 1, the same year. It extends from the eightieth degree of North, to the fifty-fourth degree of South Latitude; and from the thirty-fifth to the one hundred and fifty-sixth degree of Longitude West from Greenwich, being about nine thousand miles in length. Its breadth at Darien is narrowed to about forty-five miles, but at the northern extremity is nearly four thousand miles. From Darien to the North, the continent is called North America, and to the South, it is called South America.


Pertaining to America.


A native of America; originally applied to the aboriginals, or copper-colored races, found here by the Europeans; but now applied to the descendants of Europeans born in America. The name American must always exalt the pride of patriotism. – Washington.


The love which American citizens have to their own country, or the preference of its interests. Analogically, an American idiom.


To render American; to naturalize in America.