Nisi prius(Law), unless before; — a phrase applied to terms of court, held generally by a single judge, with a jury, for the trial of civil causes. The term originated in a legal fiction. An issue of fact being made up, it is, according to the English practice, appointed by the entry on the record, or written proceedings, to be tried by a jury from the county of which the proceedings are dated, at Westminster, unless before the day appointed (nisi prius) the judges shall have come to the county in question (which they always do) and there try the cause. See In banc, under Banc.

(Nis"te) [Contr. from ne wiste.] Wist not; knew not. [Obs.] Chaucer.

(||Ni"sus) n. [L., fr. niti, p. p. nisus, to strive.] A striving; an effort; a conatus.

A nisus or energizing towards a presented object.

(Nit) n. [AS. hnitu; akin to D. neet, G. niss, OHG. niz; cf. Gr. Icel. gnit, Sw. gnet, Dan. gnid, Russ. & Pol. gnida, Bohem. hnida, W. nedd.] (Zoöl.) The egg of a louse or other small insect.

Nit grass(Bot.), a pretty annual European grass with small spikelets somewhat resembling a nit. It is also found in California and Chili.

(Ni"ten*cy) n. [L. nitens, p. pr. of nitere to shine.] Brightness; luster. [R.]

(Ni"ten*cy), n. [From L. nitens, p. pr. of niti to strive.] Endeavor; effort; tendency. [R.] Boyle.

(Ni"ter, Ni"tre) n. [F. nitre, L. nitrum native soda, natron, Gr. cf. Ar. nitun, natrun natron. Cf. Natron.]

1. (Chem.) A white crystalline semitransparent salt; potassium nitrate; saltpeter. See Saltpeter.

2. (Chem.) Native sodium carbonate; natron. [Obs.]

For though thou wash thee with niter, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me.
Jer. ii. 22.

Cubic niter, a deliquescent salt, sodium nitrate, found as a native incrustation, like niter, in Peru and Chili, whence it is known also as Chili saltpeter.Niter bush(Bot.), a genus (Nitraria) of thorny shrubs bearing edible berries, and growing in the saline plains of Asia and Northern Africa.

(Nith"ing) n. [Obs.] See Niding.

(Nit"id) a. [L. nitidus, fr. nitere. See 3d Neat.]

1. Bright; lustrous; shining. [R.] Boyle.

(Nis) [From ne is.] Is not. [Obs.] Chaucer.

(||Ni"san) n. [Heb. nisan.] The first month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, formerly answering nearly to the month of April, now to March, of the Christian calendar. See Abib.

(Ni"sey) n.; pl. Nyseys. A simpleton. [Obs.]

(||Ni"si) conj. [L.] Unless; if not.

In legal proceedings, this word is used to indicate that any order, etc., shall take effect at a given time, unless before that time the order, etc., in modified, or something else is done to prevent its taking effect. Continuance nisi is a conditional continuance of the case till the next term of the court, unless otherwise disposed of in the mean time.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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