cor·o·ner (kôr’ə-nər, kŏr’-)
n. A public officer whose primary function is to investigate any death thought to be of other than natural causes.
[Middle English, officer of the crown, from Anglo-Norman corouner, from coroune, crown, from Latin corōna; see CROWN(Cf. ↑crown).]
cor’o·ner·ship′ n.
Word History: Coroner comes from Anglo-Norman corouner, a word derived from coroune, "crown." Corouner was the term used for the royal judicial officer who was called in Latin custos placitorum coronae, or "guardian of the crown's pleas." The person holding the office of coroner, a position dating from the 12th century, was charged with keeping local records of legal proceedings in which the crown had jurisdiction. He helped raise money for the crown by funneling the property of executed criminals into the king's treasury. The coroner also investigated any suspicious deaths among the Normans, who as the ruling class wanted to be sure that their deaths were not taken lightly. At one time in England all criminal proceedings were included in the coroner's responsibilities. Over the years these responsibilities decreased markedly. In the United States, although there is no longer any crown, a coroner's main duty is the investigation of any sudden, violent, or unexpected death.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • coronership — See coroner. * * * …   Universalium

  • coronership — corˈonership noun • • • Main Entry: ↑coroner …   Useful english dictionary

  • coroner — coronership, n. /kawr euh neuhr, kor /, n. an officer, as of a county or municipality, whose chief function is to investigate by inquest, as before a jury, any death not clearly resulting from natural causes. [1225 75; ME < AF corouner supervisor …   Universalium

  • coroner — [ kɒr(ə)nə] noun 1》 an official who holds inquests into violent, sudden, or suspicious deaths. 2》 historical an official responsible for safeguarding the private property of the Crown. Derivatives coronership noun coronial adjective Origin ME:… …   English new terms dictionary

  • coroner — /ˈkɒrənə / (say koruhnuh) noun an officer, as of a county or municipality, whose chief function is to investigate by inquest (often before a coroner s jury) any death not clearly due to natural causes. {Middle English, from Anglo French corouner… …   Australian English dictionary

  • coroner — n. 1 an officer of a county, district, or municipality, holding inquests on deaths thought to be violent or accidental, and inquiries in cases of treasure trove. 2 hist. an officer charged with maintaining the rights of the private property of… …   Useful english dictionary

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