1520s, from Anglo-French deodande (late 13c.), from Medieval Latin deodandum, from Deo dandum "a thing to be given to God," from dative of deus "god" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," in derivatives "sky, heaven, god") + neuter gerundive of dare "to give" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). In English law, "a personal chattel which, having been the immediate cause of the death of a person, was forfeited to the Crown to be applied to pious uses." Abolished 1846.
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