Printable Version
Pronunciation: ri-mænd Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. (Law) Send, transfer (from one legal situation to another), as 'to remand on bail'. 2. Return a case to a lower court, as 'to remand a case back to circuit court'.

Notes: This word isn't used outside the judicial system, yet it is frequently encountered in the news. The verb alone may be used to refer to a single occurrence of the action of remanding (a remand), and the present participle (remanding) may be used for a continuing action.

In Play: When a case is referred to any other jurisdiction or aspect of the judicial system, we may use today's word: "We asked that Sergei be remanded on bail, but he was denied bail and remanded back to jail." Since the meaning of this verb is so restrictive, we may omit the direct object when it is obvious: "The circuit court of appeals vacated the decision of the lower court and remanded the case for further facts supporting the lower court's decision."

Word History: Today's Good Word came from Anglo-Normal remaunden "send back again", borrowed from Old French remander "recall, resummon". French inherited its verb from Late Latin remandare "to send back (word)", composed of re- "back, again" + Latin mandare "to order, put in someone's hand", source of English mandate. Latin built its verb on the PIE root man- "hand", which underlies French main, Italian and Spanish mano, visible also in the English borrowing, manual. Manuscript was borrowed from the Latin adjective manuscriptus "handwritten", back when manuscripts were inscribed by hand. Middle English manuren originally meant "to cultivate land", trimmed down from Anglo-Normal mainouverer, converted from Vulgar Latin manuoperare "to work with the hands". Modern English manure took on its odorous meaning during a period when people were less picayune about what they put their hands in.

Dr. Goodword,

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