Au"to-da-fé" (?), n.; pl. Autos-da-fé (). [Pg., act of the faith; auto act, fr. L. actus + da of the + fé faith, fr. L. fides.]
A judgment of the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal condemning or acquitting persons accused of religious offenses.
An execution of such sentence, by the civil power, esp. the burning of a heretic. It was usually held on Sunday, and was made a great public solemnity by impressive forms and ceremonies.
A session of the court of Inquisition.
© Webster 1913.