Ordeal bean. (Bot.) See Calabar bean, under Calabar.Ordeal root(Bot.) the root of a species of Strychnos growing in West Africa, used, like the ordeal bean, in trials for witchcraft.Ordeal tree (Bot.), a poisonous tree of Madagascar (Tanghinia, or Cerbera, venenata). Persons suspected of crime are forced to eat the seeds of the plumlike fruit, and criminals are put to death by being pricked with a lance dipped in the juice of the seeds.

(Or"de*al), a. Of or pertaining to trial by ordeal.

(Or"der) n. [OE. ordre, F. ordre, fr. L. ordo, ordinis. Cf. Ordain, Ordinal.]

1. Regular arrangement; any methodical or established succession or harmonious relation; method; system; as: (a) Of material things, like the books in a library. (b) Of intellectual notions or ideas, like the topics of a discource. (c) Of periods of time or occurrences, and the like.

The side chambers were . . . thirty in order.
Ezek. xli. 6.

Bright-harnessed angels sit in order serviceable.

Good order is the foundation of all good things.

2. Right arrangement; a normal, correct, or fit condition; as, the house is in order; the machinery is out of order. Locke.

3. The customary mode of procedure; established system, as in the conduct of debates or the transaction of business; usage; custom; fashion. Dantiel.

And, pregnant with his grander thought,
Brought the old order into doubt.

4. Conformity with law or decorum; freedom from disturbance; general tranquillity; public quiet; as, to preserve order in a community or an assembly.

(Or*dain"ment) n. Ordination. [R.] Burke.

(Or"dal) n. Ordeal. [Obs.] Chaucer.

(Or*da"li*an) a. [LL. ordalium.] Of or pertaining to trial by ordeal. [Obs.] Bp. Hall.

(Or"de*al) n. [AS. ordal, ord&aemacrl, a judgment; akin to D. oordeel, G. urteil, urtheil; orig., what is dealt out, the prefix or- being akin to a- compounded with verbs, G. er-, ur- , Goth. us-, orig. meaning, out. See Deal, v. & n., and cf. Arise, Ort.]

1. An ancient form of test to determine guilt or innocence, by appealing to a supernatural decision, — once common in Europe, and still practiced in the East and by savage tribes.

In England ordeal by fire and ordeal by water were used, the former confined to persons of rank, the latter to the common people. The ordeal by fire was performed, either by handling red-hot iron, or by walking barefoot and blindfold over red-hot plowshares, laid at unequal distances. If the person escaped unhurt, he was adjudged innocent; otherwise he was condemned as guilty. The ordeal by water was performed, either by plunging the bare arm to the elbow in boiling water, an escape from injury being taken as proof of innocence, or by casting the accused person, bound hand and foot, into a river or pond, when if he floated it was an evidence of guilt, but if he sunk he was acquitted. It is probable that the proverbial phrase, to go through fire and water, denoting severe trial or danger, is derived from the ordeal. See Wager of battle, under Wager.

2. Any severe trial, or test; a painful experience.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.