One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Withhold (land or other property) wrongfully or forcibly from the rightful owner.
- ‘Command X that justly and without delay he render to A one hundred marks which he owes him, so he says, and of which he complains that he deforces him; and if he will not do so summon him by good summoners to be before me or my justices on such a day to show why he has not done it.’
- ‘Archibald Cook, James Nichol, and John Murphy were indicted for the crimes of assaulting and deforcing certain of the Ayr Customhouse Officers.’
- ‘For the purposes of this Act, the documents which were unlawfully deforced and stored shall not be treated as sources of information, with the exception of documents stored at state institutions despite the administrative orders to have these documents destroyed, and the documents delivered by natural or juristic persons.’
- ‘In the offing the legislative commission will adopt documents, expanding the rights of the state in raising alimony from people deforced of their parental rights and toughen the responsibility of parents in rearing children.’
- ‘W. Gau states that he bought a vineyard from his kinsman, P. Gau, but that Ayquem de Bourc took it into the King's hand, claiming that it had been deforced from him.’
- 1.1 Deprive (someone) wrongfully or forcibly of rightful property.
Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French deforcer, from de- (expressing removal) + forcer ‘to force’.
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