Constitution and Bill of Rights Glossary

Word

Definition

abridging

reducing, lessening

adjourn

to put off until another time

affirmation

something said to be true, a positive statement

alliance

close association of nations

allocation

an amount given out or distributed

ambassadors

the highest ranking diplomatic officer appointed by the president to represent the United States in another country.

appellate

courts that have the power to review and overturn decisions made by lower courts.

apportioned

set aside or distributed

ascertained

got knowledge or awareness of something

assemble

to come or bring together into a group

bail

payment given by a person accused of a crime so he/she can be released from jail as a promise to submit to the court and not escape or avoid the courts.

capital

a crime punishable by death

capitation

a poll tax

census

the count of the number of people living in an area

certify

to confirm as true and accurate

cession

giving terrirory to another country by treaty

commenced

begun

commerce

trade

commissions

the acts of granting powers and/or authority

compelled

forced to do something

compensation

something to make up for loss or damage

concur

agree

concurrent

happening at the same time

confederation

people united for a common goal

confirmation

verification or authorization

Congress

the law making or legislative body of the federal government

consent

to accept or agree

construed

explained, made clearer

consuls

an official appointed by a government to represent that country's commercial interests in another country.

controversy

conflict

counsel

onoe who advises another, a consultant or lawyer

devolve

to pass on or delegate to someone else

discharge

perform one's job or duty

diminished

lessened

disparage

to belittle or put down someone or something

domestic

relating to a country's own or internal affairs

double jeopardy

trying a person in the same place for the same crime twice

due process

the principle or idea that a person cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property without getting proper legal procedures and safeguards. This means a person cannot be jailed, executed, have the things they own taken away from them without having legal defense or hearings.

effects

personal belongings

elector, Electoral College

The group that meets after the public votes in the presidentiathl election to cast ballots for the president and vice-president, This actually decides the elect

emolument

payments for work done

enumeration

noting the number of items one by one

equity

state of being equal or fair

establishment

the act of putting in place or starting up officially

exceed

to go beyond the limits of something

excessive

going beyond reasonable limits

excises

taxes on certain goods

executive branch

the part of the federal government that enforces the law

expiration

the act of coming to a close

grievance

the act of hurting someone that results in bad feelings

House of Representatives

a law making group of the Congress made up of members from states determined by the state's population.

immunities

abilities to withstand difficulties

import, importation

goods brought into this country from another country to be sold.

impartial

having no bias in judgment

imposed

something forced upon someone

imposts

cargo, freight

indictment

accusation of a crime presented to the person or persons accused of a crime.

infamous

widely and unfavorably known, bad reputation

inflicted

caused damage or pain to someone

infringed

encroached on, taken away or lessened

inoperative

not working, not in action

insurrection

revolt, rebellion

involuntary servitude

when people are forced without choice to perform services for another, often without pay or compensation

judicial

having to do with the courts

junction

the place where two things come together

jurisdiction

the right and power to apply the laws in an area

magazines

a storage place in a fort for ammunition

migration

movement from one area to another

militia

a military organization made up of citizens trained for service in times of a national emergency.

misdemeanor

a minor or lesser crime

naturalized

granted full citizenship to

 

nominate

to propose by name as a candidate

oath

a formal promise or vow

operative

working, in action

petition

to ask

prescribed

set forth with authority

preside

to hold a position of authority, be a chairperson

President Pro Temporare

the senator who presides over the Senate when the vice-president is not there

prohibiting

forbidding, not allowing

prosecution

the act of conducting a legal proceeding

quartered

furnished or provided housing

pursuance

the carrying out of some activity

quorum

the minimum member of people in a group that must be present for the business of the group to legally take place

rebellion

revolution

redress

something to make up for loss or damage done to someone

regulated

adjusted to a particular standard

repealed

done away with

repel

to turn away, drive off

reprieve

to postpone or put off punishment

reprisal

an act of retaliation, getting even

republican

a form of government that is a sovereign state ruled by representatives that are elected

reside

to live or have a home at

respective

related to two or more people regarded individually

retained

kept, owned

revenue

the income of government from all sources

security

freedom from risk or danger; to make safe

seized

taken by force

Speaker of the House

the presiding officer of the House of Representatives

submission

the act of giving in to the power of someone else

territory

an area of land or region sometimes controlled by another country

transmit

send

treason

to turn against one's country

treaties

a formal agreement between two or more nations

tribunals

a court of justice

vacancies

jobs that aren't filled

violated

disobeyed, broken

writ

in law, written order issued in the name of the sovereign or the state in connection with a judicial or administration proceeding.

 

 

 

U.S. Constitution Index

Bill of Rights Index