Definition of water-ordeal in US English:

water-ordeal

noun

  • A practice in which an accused person is subjected to a trial by water, usually involving physical pain or danger, overcoming of which is taken as divine proof of innocence. Also: a test of this sort; something which decides guilt or innocence. Compare "ordeal", fire ordeal. Now historical.

Origin

Old English; earliest use found in Laws: Blaseras. From water + ordeal.

Pronunciation

water-ordeal

/ˈwɔːtə(r)ɔːˌdiːl/