De"o*dand` (?), n. [LL. deodandum, fr. L. Deo dandum to be given to God.] Old Eng.Law

A personal chattel which had caused the death of a person, and for that reason was given to God, that is, forfeited to the crown, to be applied to pious uses, and distributed in alms by the high almoner. Thus, if a cart ran over a man and killed him, it was forfeited as a deodand.

Deodands are unknown in American law, and in 1846 were abolished in England.


© Webster 1913.

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