Attainting – Definition & Meaning

Attainting is a word that is not commonly used in everyday conversation. However, it has a specific meaning that is important to understand. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of attainting, its origins, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


Attainting is a legal term that refers to the act of convicting a person of a crime and declaring them guilty. It is also known as attainder, which is the process by which a person’s property and rights are forfeited as a result of their conviction.


The word attainting comes from the Old French word “atteindre,” which means “to reach” or “to attain.” It was first used in the 14th century to describe the process of convicting a person of a crime and declaring them guilty.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, attainting means “to declare someone guilty of a crime and deprive them of their property and rights.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “the act of convicting and forfeiting the property of a person accused of a crime.”


Attainting is often associated with medieval and early modern English law, where it was used as a means of punishing political enemies and confiscating their property. It was also used during the Tudor period to execute members of the nobility who were seen as a threat to the monarchy.


Some synonyms of attainting include convicting, condemning, and forfeiting.


The antonyms of attainting are acquitting, exonerating, and pardoning.

The same root words

The root word of attainting is “attain,” which means to reach or achieve something. The word “attainder” is also derived from the same root word and has a similar meaning to attainting.

Example Sentences

  1. The king ordered the attainting of the rebel leader and the confiscation of his property.
  2. The accused was attainted for his involvement in the conspiracy to overthrow the government.
  3. The attainting of the nobleman caused a stir among the aristocracy and led to calls for reform.
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