wager of battle


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

wager \wa"ger\ (w[=a]"j[~e]r), n. [OE. wager, wajour, OF.
   wagiere, or wageure, F. gageure. See Wage, v. t.]
   [1913 Webster]
   1. Something deposited, laid, or hazarded on the event of a
      contest or an unsettled question; a bet; a stake; a
      pledge.
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            Besides these plates for horse races, the wagers may
            be as the persons please.             --Sir W.
                                                  Temple.
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            If any atheist can stake his soul for a wager
            against such an inexhaustible disproportion, let him
            never hereafter accuse others of credulity.
                                                  --Bentley.
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   2. (Law) A contract by which two parties or more agree that a
      certain sum of money, or other thing, shall be paid or
      delivered to one of them, on the happening or not
      happening of an uncertain event. --Bouvier.
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: At common law a wager is considered as a legal contract
         which the courts must enforce unless it be on a subject
         contrary to public policy, or immoral, or tending to
         the detriment of the public, or affecting the interest,
         feelings, or character of a third person. In many of
         the United States an action can not be sustained upon
         any wager or bet. --Chitty. --Bouvier.
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   3. That on which bets are laid; the subject of a bet.
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   Wager of battel, or Wager of battle (O. Eng. Law), the
      giving of gage, or pledge, for trying a cause by single
      combat, formerly allowed in military, criminal, and civil
      causes. In writs of right, where the trial was by
      champions, the tenant produced his champion, who, by
      throwing down his glove as a gage, thus waged, or
      stipulated, battle with the champion of the demandant,
      who, by taking up the glove, accepted the challenge. The
      wager of battel, which has been long in disuse, was
      abolished in England in 1819, by a statute passed in
      consequence of a defendant's having waged his battle in a
      case which arose about that period. See Battel.

   Wager of law (Law), the giving of gage, or sureties, by a
      defendant in an action of debt, that at a certain day
      assigned he would take a law, or oath, in open court, that
      he did not owe the debt, and at the same time bring with
      him eleven neighbors (called compurgators), who should
      avow upon their oaths that they believed in their
      consciences that he spoke the truth.

   Wager policy. (Insurance Law) See under Policy.

   Wagering contract or gambling contract. A contract which
      is of the nature of wager. Contracts of this nature
      include various common forms of valid commercial
      contracts, as contracts of insurance, contracts dealing in
      futures, options, etc. Other wagering contracts and bets
      are now generally made illegal by statute against betting
      and gambling, and wagering has in many cases been made a
      criminal offence. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
      [1913 Webster]
.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Battle \Bat"tle\, n. [OE. bataille, bataile, F. bataille battle,
   OF., battle, battalion, fr. L. battalia, battualia, the
   fighting and fencing exercises of soldiers and gladiators,
   fr. batuere to strike, beat. Cf. Battalia, 1st Battel,
   and see Batter, v. t. ]
   1. A general action, fight, or encounter, in which all the
      divisions of an army are or may be engaged; an engagement;
      a combat.
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   2. A struggle; a contest; as, the battle of life.
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            The whole intellectual battle that had at its center
            the best poem of the best poet of that day. --H.
                                                  Morley.
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   3. A division of an army; a battalion. [Obs.]
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            The king divided his army into three battles.
                                                  --Bacon.
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            The cavalry, by way of distinction, was called the
            battle, and on it alone depended the fate of every
            action.                               --Robertson.
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   4. The main body, as distinct from the van and rear;
      battalia. [Obs.] --Hayward.
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   Note: Battle is used adjectively or as the first part of a
         self-explaining compound; as, battle brand, a "brand"
         or sword used in battle; battle cry; battlefield;
         battle ground; battle array; battle song.
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   Battle piece, a painting, or a musical composition,
      representing a battle.

   Battle royal.
      (a) A fight between several gamecocks, where the one that
          stands longest is the victor. --Grose.
      (b) A contest with fists or cudgels in which more than two
          are engaged; a m[^e]l['e]e. --Thackeray.

   Drawn battle, one in which neither party gains the victory.
      

   To give battle, to attack an enemy.

   To join battle, to meet the attack; to engage in battle.

   Pitched battle, one in which the armies are previously
      drawn up in form, with a regular disposition of the
      forces.

   Wager of battle. See under Wager, n.
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   Syn: Conflict; encounter; contest; action.

   Usage: Battle, Combat, Fight, Engagement. These words
          agree in denoting a close encounter between contending
          parties. Fight is a word of less dignity than the
          others. Except in poetry, it is more naturally applied
          to the encounter of a few individuals, and more
          commonly an accidental one; as, a street fight. A
          combat is a close encounter, whether between few or
          many, and is usually premeditated. A battle is
          commonly more general and prolonged. An engagement
          supposes large numbers on each side, engaged or
          intermingled in the conflict.
          [1913 Webster]
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