Definition of praemunire in US English:



  • 1The offense of asserting or maintaining papal jurisdiction in England.

    • ‘He had already moved against the clergy with accusations of praemunire and in 1532 forbade the payment of Annates or first fruits to Rome.’
    1. 1.1 A writ charging a sheriff to summon a person accused of this offense.
      • ‘In his play the fox priest's punishment imitates the praemunire of all recusants whose ‘substance all be straight confiscate’.’
      • ‘The penalties for non-attendance for Catholic recusants were fines of 20 [pounds sterling] for the first month, 40 [pounds sterling] for the second, 100 [pounds sterling] for the third, and the pains of praemunire for the fourth.’


Late Middle English: from medieval Latin, ‘forewarn’, from Latin praemonere, from prae ‘beforehand’ + monere ‘warn’. The term comes from praemunire facias ‘that you warn (a person to appear)’, part of the wording in the writ.