formerly also endict, c. 1300, enditen, inditen, "bring formal charges against (someone); accuse of a crime," from Anglo-French enditer "accuse, indict, find chargeable with a criminal offense" (late 13c.), Old French enditier, enditer "to dictate, write, compose; (legally) indict," from Vulgar Latin *indictare "to declare, accuse, proclaim in writing," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + Latin dictare "to declare, dictate," frequentative of dicere "to say, speak" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly").
Later 14c. non-legal senses "write, compose (a poem, etc.); dictate" have gone with the older form, endite, indite (q.v.). Retained its French pronunciation after the spelling was re-Latinized c. 1600. The sense is perhaps partly confused with Latin indicare "to point out." In classical Latin, indictus meant "not said, unsaid" (from in- "not"). Related: Indictable; indicted; indicting.
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