Law Dictionary – Legal Words ( C )

cabal –  A number of persons secretly united for effecting by intrigue some private purpose.

cabalism –  Superstitious devotion to one’s religion.

cabinet –  The body of men constituting the official advisors of the executive head of a nation.

cacophony –  A disagreeable, harsh, or discordant sound or combination of sounds or tones.

cadaverous –  Resembling a corpse.

cadence –  Rhythmical or measured flow or movement, as in poetry or the time and pace of marching troops.

cadenza –  An embellishment or flourish, prepared or improvised, for a solo voice or instrument.

caitiff –  Cowardly.

cajole –  To impose on or dupe by flattering speech.

cajolery –  Delusive speech.

calculable –  That may be estimated by reckoning.

calculus –  A concretion formed in various parts of the body resembling a pebble in hardness.

callosity –  The state of being hard and insensible.

callow –  Without experience of the world.

calorie –  Amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree centigrade.

calumny –  Slander.

Calvary –  The place where Christ was crucified.

Calvinism –  The system of doctrine taught by John Calvin.

Calvinize –  To teach or imbue with the doctrines of Calvinism.

came –  A leaden sash-bar or grooved strip for fastening panes in stained-glass windows.

cameo –  Any small engraved or carved work in relief.

campaign –  A complete series of connected military operations.

Canaanite –  A member of one of the three tribes that dwelt in the land of Canaan, or western Palestine.

canary –  Of a bright but delicate yellow.

candid –  Straightforward.

candor –  The quality of frankness or outspokenness.

canine –  Characteristic of a dog.

canon –  Any rule or law.

cant –  To talk in a singsong, preaching tone with affected solemnity.

cantata –  A choral composition.

canto –  One of the divisions of an extended poem.

cantonment –  The part of the town or district in which the troops are quartered.

capacious –  Roomy.

capillary –  A minute vessel having walls composed of a single layer of cells.

capitulate –  To surrender or stipulate terms.

caprice –  A whim.

caption –  A heading, as of a chapter, section, document, etc.

captious –  Hypercritical.

captivate –  To fascinate, as by excellence. eloquence, or beauty.

carcass –  The dead body of an animal.

cardiac –  Pertaining to the heart.

cardinal –  Of prime or special importance.

caret –  A sign (^) placed below a line, indicating where omitted words, etc., should be inserted.

caricature –  a picture or description in which natural characteristics are exaggerated or distorted.

carnage –  Massacre.

carnal –  Sensual.

carnivorous –  Eating or living on flesh.

carouse –  To drink deeply and in boisterous or jovial manner.

carrion –  Dead and putrefying flesh.

cartilage –  An elastic animal tissue of firm consistence.

cartridge –  A charge for a firearm, or for blasting.

caste –  The division of society on artificial grounds.

castigate –  To punish.

casual –  Accidental, by chance.

casualty –  A fatal or serious accident or disaster.

cataclysm –  Any overwhelming flood of water.

cataract –  Opacity of the lens of the eye resulting in complete or partial blindness.

catastrophe –  Any great and sudden misfortune or calamity.

cathode –  The negative pole or electrode of a galvanic battery.

Catholicism –  The system, doctrine, and practice of the Roman Catholic Church.

catholicity –  Universal prevalence or acceptance.

cat-o-nine-tails –  An instrument consisting of nine pieces of cord, formerly used for flogging in the army and navy.

caucus –  A private meeting of members of a political party to select candidates.

causal –  Indicating or expressing a cause.

caustic –  Sarcastic and severe.

cauterize –  To burn or sear as with a heated iron.

cede –  To pass title to.

censor –  An official examiner of manuscripts empowered to prohibit their publication.

censorious –  Judging severely or harshly.

census –  An official numbering of the people of a country or district.

centenary –  Pertaining to a hundred years or a period of a hundred years.

centiliter –  A hundredth of a liter.

centimeter –  A length of one hundredth of a meter.

centurion –  A captain of a company of one hundred infantry in the ancient Roman army.

cereal –  Pertaining to edible grain or farinaceous seeds.

ceremonial –  Characterized by outward form or ceremony.

ceremonious –  Observant of ritual.

cessation –  Discontinuance, as of action or motion.

cession –  Surrender, as of possessions or rights.

chagrin –  Keen vexation, annoyance, or mortification, as at one’s failures or errors.

chameleon –  Changeable in appearance.

chancery –  A court of equity, as distinguished from a common-law court.

chaos –  Any condition of which the elements or parts are in utter disorder and confusion.

characteristic –  A distinctive feature.

characterize –  To describe by distinctive marks or peculiarities.

charlatan –  A quack.

chasm –  A yawning hollow, as in the earth’s surface.

chasten –  To purify by affliction.

chastise –  To subject to punitive measures.

chastity –  Sexual or moral purity.

chateau –  A castle or manor-house.

chattel –  Any article of personal property.

check –  To hold back.

chiffon –  A very thin gauze used for trimmings, evening dress, etc.

chivalry –  The knightly system of feudal times with its code, usages and practices.

cholera –  An acute epidemic disease.

choleric –  Easily provoked to anger.

choral –  Pertaining to, intended for, or performed by a chorus or choir.

Christ –  A title of Jesus

christen –  To name in baptism.

Christendom –  That part of the world where Christianity is generally professed.

chromatic –  Belonging, relating to, or abounding in color.

chronology –  The science that treats of computation of time or of investigation and arrangement of events.

chronometer –  A portable timekeeper of the highest attainable precision.

cipher –  To calculate arithmetically. (also a noun meaning zero or nothing)

circulate –  To disseminate.

circumference –  The boundary-line of a circle.

circumlocution –  Indirect or roundabout expression.

circumnavigate –  To sail quite around.

circumscribe –  To confine within bounds.

circumspect –  Showing watchfulness, caution, or careful consideration.

citadel –  Any strong fortress.

cite –  To refer to specifically.

claimant –  One who makes a claim or demand, as of right.

clairvoyance –  Intuitive sagacity or perception.

clamorous –  Urgent in complaint or demand.

clan –  A tribe.

clandestine –  Surreptitious.

clangor –  Clanking or a ringing, as of arms, chains, or bells; clamor.

clarify –  To render intelligible.

clarion –  A small shrill trumpet or bugle.

classify –  To arrange in a class or classes on the basis of observed resemblance; and differences.

clearance –  A certificate from the proper authorities that a vessel has complied with the law and may sail.

clemency –  Mercy.

clement –  Compassionate.

close-hauled –  Having the sails set for sailing as close to the wind as possible.

clothier –  One who makes or sells cloth or clothing.

clumsy –  Awkward of movement.

coagulate –  To change into a clot or a jelly, as by heat, by chemical action, or by a ferment.

coagulant –  Producing coagulation.

coalescence –  The act or process of coming together so as to form one body, combination, or product.

coalition –  Combination in a body or mass.

coddle –  To treat as a baby or an invalid.

codicil –  A supplement adding to, revoking, or explaining in the body of a will.

coerce –  To force.

coercion –  Forcible constraint or restraint, moral or physical.

coercive –  Serving or tending to force.

cogent –  Appealing strongly to the reason or conscience.

cognate –  Akin.

cognizant –  Taking notice.

cohere –  To stick together.

cohesion –  Consistency.

cohesive –  Having the property of consistency.

coincide –  To correspond.

coincidence –  A circumstance so agreeing with another: often implying accident.

coincident –  Taking place at the same time.

collaborate –  To labor or cooperate with another or others, especially in literary or scientific pursuits.

collapse –  To cause to shrink, fall in, or fail.

collapsible –  That may or can collapse.

colleague –  An associate in professional employment.

collective –  Consisting of a number of persons or objects considered as gathered into a mass, or sum.

collector –  One who makes a collection, as of objects of art, books, or the like.

collegian –  A college student.

collide –  To meet and strike violently.

collier –  One who works in a coal-mine.

collision –  Violent contact.

colloquial –  Pertaining or peculiar to common speech as distinguished from literary.

colloquialism –  Form of speech used only or chiefly in conversation.

colloquy –  Conversation.

collusion –  A secret agreement for a wrongful purpose.

colossus –  Any strikingly great person or object.

comely –  Handsome.

comestible –  Fit to be eaten.

comical –  Funny.

commemorate –  To serve as a remembrance of.

commentary –  A series of illustrative or explanatory notes on any important work.

commingle –  To blend.

commissariat –  The department of an army charged with the provision of its food and water and daily needs.

commission –  To empower.

commitment –  The act or process of entrusting or consigning for safe-keeping.

committal –  The act, fact, or result of committing, or the state of being

commodity –  Something that is bought and sold.

commotion –  A disturbance or violent agitation.

commute –  To put something, especially something less severe, in place of.

comparable –  Fit to be compared.

comparative –  Relative.

comparison –  Examination of two or more objects with reference to their likeness or unlikeness.

compensate –  To remunerate.

competence –  Adequate qualification or capacity.

competent –  Qualified.

competitive –  characterized by rivalry.

competitor –  A rival.

complacence –  Satisfaction with one’s acts or surroundings.

complacent –  Pleased or satisfied with oneself.

complaisance –  Politeness.

complaisant –  Agreeable.

complement –  To make complete.

complex –  Complicated.

compliant –  Yielding.

complicate –  To make complex, difficult, or hard to deal with.

complication –  An intermingling or combination of things or parts, especially in a perplexing manner.

complicity –  Participation or partnership, as in wrong-doing or with a wrong-doer.

compliment –  To address or gratify with expressions of delicate praise.

component –  A constituent element or part.

comport –  To conduct or behave (oneself).

composure –  Calmness.

comprehensible –  Intelligible.

comprehension –  Ability to know.

comprehensive –  Large in scope or content.

compress –  To press together or into smaller space.

compressible –  Capable of being pressed into smaller compass.

compression –  Constraint, as by force or authority.

comprise –  To consist of.

compulsion –  Coercion.

compulsory –  Forced.

compunction –  Remorseful feeling.

compute –  To ascertain by mathematical calculation.

concede –  To surrender.

conceit –  Self-flattering opinion.

conceive –  To form an idea, mental image or thought of.

concerto –  A musical composition.

concession –  Anything granted or yielded, or admitted in response to a demand, petition, or claim.

conciliate –  To obtain the friendship of.

conciliatory –  Tending to reconcile.

conclusive –  Sufficient to convince or decide.

concord –  Harmony.

concordance –  Harmony.

concur –  To agree.

concurrence –  Agreement.

concurrent –  Occurring or acting together.

concussion –  A violent shock to some organ by a fall or a sudden blow.

condensation –  The act or process of making dense or denser.

condense –  To abridge.

condescend –  To come down voluntarily to equal terms with inferiors.

condolence –  Expression of sympathy with a person in pain, sorrow, or misfortune.

conduce –  To bring about.

conducive –  Contributing to an end.

conductible –  Capable of being conducted or transmitted.

conduit –  A means for conducting something, particularly a tube, pipe, or passageway for a fluid.

confectionery –  The candy collectively that a confectioner makes or sells, as candy.

confederacy –  A number of states or persons in compact or league with each other, as for mutual aid.

confederate –  One who is united with others in a league, compact, or agreement.

confer –  To bestow.

conferee –  A person with whom another confers.

confessor –  A spiritual advisor.

confidant –  One to whom secrets are entrusted.

confide –  To reveal in trust or confidence.

confidence –  The state or feeling of trust in or reliance upon another.

confident –  Assured.

confinement –  Restriction within limits or boundaries.

confiscate –  To appropriate (private property) as forfeited to the public use or treasury.

conflagration –  A great fire, as of many buildings, a forest, or the like.

confluence –  The place where streams meet.

confluent –  A stream that unites with another.

conformance –  The act or state or conforming.

conformable –  Harmonious.

conformation –  General structure, form, or outline.

conformity –  Correspondence in form, manner, or use.

confront –  To encounter, as difficulties or obstacles.

congeal –  To coagulate.

congenial –  Having kindred character or tastes.

congest –  To collect into a mass.

congregate –  To bring together into a crowd.

coniferous –  Cone-bearing trees.

conjecture –  A guess.

conjoin –  To unite.

conjugal –  Pertaining to marriage, marital rights, or married persons.

conjugate –  Joined together in pairs.

conjugation –  The state or condition of being joined together.

conjunction –  The state of being joined together, or the things so joined.

connive –  To be in collusion.

connoisseur –  A critical judge of art, especially one with thorough knowledge and sound judgment of art.

connote –  To mean; signify.

connubial –  Pertaining to marriage or matrimony.

conquer –  To overcome by force.

consanguineous –  Descended from the same parent or ancestor.

conscience –  The faculty in man by which he distinguishes between right and wrong in character and conduct.

conscientious –  Governed by moral standard.

conscious –  Aware that one lives, feels, and thinks.

conscript –  To force into military service.

consecrate –  To set apart as sacred.

consecutive –  Following in uninterrupted succession.

consensus –  A collective unanimous opinion of a number of persons.

conservatism –  Tendency to adhere to the existing order of things.

conservative –  Adhering to the existing order of things.

conservatory –  An institution for instruction and training in music and declamation.

consign –  To entrust.

consignee –  A person to whom goods or other property has been entrusted.

consignor –  One who entrusts.

consistency –  A state of permanence.

console –  To comfort.

consolidate –  To combine into one body or system.

consonance –  The state or quality of being in accord with.

consonant –  Being in agreement or harmony with.

consort –  A companion or associate.

conspicuous –  Clearly visible.

conspirator –  One who agrees with others to cooperate in accomplishing some unlawful purpose.

conspire –  To plot.

constable –  An officer whose duty is to maintain the peace.

constellation –  An arbitrary assemblage or group of stars.

consternation –  Panic.

constituency –  The inhabitants or voters in a district represented in a legislative body.

constituent –  One who has the right to vote at an election.

constrict –  To bind.

consul –  An officer appointed to reside in a foreign city, chiefly to represent his country.

consulate –  The place in which a consul transacts official business.

consummate –  To bring to completion.

consumption –  Gradual destruction, as by burning, eating, etc., or by using up, wearing out, etc.

consumptive –  Designed for gradual destruction.

contagion –  The communication of disease from person to person.

contagious –  Transmitting disease.

contaminate –  To pollute.

contemplate –  To consider thoughtfully.

contemporaneous –  Living, occurring, or existing at the same time.

contemporary –  Living or existing at the same time.

contemptible –  Worthy of scorn or disdain.

contemptuous –  Disdainful.

contender –  One who exerts oneself in opposition or rivalry.

contiguity –  Proximity.

contiguous –  Touching or joining at the edge or boundary.

continence –  Self-restraint with respect to desires, appetites, and passion.

contingency –  Possibility of happening.

contingent –  Not predictable.

continuance –  Permanence.

continuation –  Prolongation.

continuity –  Uninterrupted connection in space, time, operation, or development.

continuous –  Connected, extended, or prolonged without separation or interruption of sequence.

contort –  To twist into a misshapen form.

contraband –  Trade forbidden by law or treaty.

contradiction –  The assertion of the opposite of that which has been said.

contradictory –  Inconsistent with itself.

contraposition –  A placing opposite.

contravene –  To prevent or obstruct the operation of.

contribution –  The act of giving for a common purpose.

contributor –  One who gives or furnishes, in common with others, for a common purpose.

contrite –  Broken in spirit because of a sense of sin.

contrivance –  The act planning, devising, inventing, or adapting something to or for a special purpose.

contrive –  To manage or carry through by some device or scheme.

control –  To exercise a directing, restraining, or governing influence over.

controller –  One who or that which regulates or directs.

contumacious –  Rebellious.

contumacy –  Contemptuous disregard of the requirements of rightful authority.

contuse –  To bruise by a blow, either with or without the breaking of the skin.

contusion –  A bruise.

convalesce –  To recover after a sickness.

convalescence –  The state of progressive restoration to health and strength after the cessation of disease.

convalescent –  Recovering health after sickness.

convene –  To summon or cause to assemble.

convenience –  Fitness, as of time or place.

converge –  To cause to incline and approach nearer together.

convergent –  Tending to one point.

conversant –  Thoroughly informed.

conversion –  Change from one state or position to another, or from one form to another.

convertible –  Interchangeable.

convex –  Curving like the segment of the globe or of the surface of a circle.

conveyance –  That by which anything is transported.

convivial –  Devoted to feasting, or to good-fellowship in eating or drinking.

convolution –  A winding motion.

convolve –  To move with a circling or winding motion.

convoy –  A protecting force accompanying property in course of transportation.

convulse –  To cause spasms in.

convulsion –  A violent and abnormal muscular contraction of the body.

copious –  Plenteous.

coquette –  A flirt.

cornice –  An ornamental molding running round the walls of a room close to the ceiling.

cornucopia –  The horn of plenty, symbolizing peace and prosperity.

corollary –  A proposition following so obviously from another that it requires little demonstration.

coronation –  The act or ceremony of crowning a monarch.

coronet –  Inferior crown denoting, according to its form, various degrees of noble rank less than sovereign.

corporal –  Belonging or relating to the body as opposed to the mind.

corporate –  Belonging to a corporation.

corporeal –  Of a material nature; physical.

corps –  A number or body of persons in some way associated or acting together.

corpse –  A dead body.

corpulent –  Obese.

corpuscle –  A minute particle of matter.

correlate –  To put in some relation of connection or correspondence.

correlative –  Mutually involving or implying one another.

corrigible –  Capable of reformation.

corroborate –  To strengthen, as proof or conviction.

corroboration –  Confirmation.

corrode –  To ruin or destroy little by little.

corrosion –  Gradual decay by crumbling or surface disintegration.

corrosive –  That which causes gradual decay by crumbling or surface disintegration.

corruptible –  Open to bribery.

corruption –  Loss of purity or integrity.

cosmetic –  Pertaining to the art of beautifying, especially the complexion.

cosmic –  Pertaining to the universe.

cosmogony –  A doctrine of creation or of the origin of the universe.

cosmography –  The science that describes the universe, including astronomy, geography, and geology.

cosmology –  The general science of the universe.

cosmopolitan –  Common to all the world.

cosmopolitanism –  A cosmopolitan character.

cosmos –  The world or universe considered as a system, perfect in order and arrangement.

counter-claim –  A cross-demand alleged by a defendant in his favor against the plaintiff.

counteract –  To act in opposition to.

counterbalance –  To oppose with an equal force.

countercharge –  To accuse in return.

counterfeit –  Made to resemble something else.

counterpart –  Something taken with another for the completion of either.

countervail –  To offset.

counting-house –  A house or office used for transacting business, bookkeeping, correspondence, etc.

countryman –  A rustic.

courageous –  Brave.

course –  Line of motion or direction.

courser –  A fleet and spirited horse.

courtesy –  Politeness originating in kindness and exercised habitually.

covenant –  An agreement entered into by two or more persons or parties.

covert –  Concealed, especially for an evil purpose.

covey –  A flock of quails or partridges.

cower –  To crouch down tremblingly, as through fear or shame.

coxswain –  One who steers a rowboat, or one who has charge of a ship’s boat and its crew under an officer.

crag –  A rugged, rocky projection on a cliff or ledge.

cranium –  The skull of an animal, especially that part enclosing the brain.

crass –  Coarse or thick in nature or structure, as opposed to thin or fine.

craving –  A vehement desire.

creak –  A sharp, harsh, squeaking sound.

creamery –  A butter-making establishment.

creamy –  Resembling or containing cream.

credence –  Belief.

credible –  Believable.

credulous –  Easily deceived.

creed –  A formal summary of fundamental points of religious belief.

crematory –  A place for cremating dead bodies.

crevasse –  A deep crack or fissure in the ice of a glacier.

crevice –  A small fissure, as between two contiguous surfaces.

criterion –  A standard by which to determine the correctness of a judgment or conclusion.

critique –  A criticism or critical review.

crockery –  Earthenware made from baked clay.

crucible –  A trying and purifying test or agency.

crusade –  Any concerted movement, vigorously prosecuted, in behalf of an idea or principle.

crustacean –  Pertaining to a division of arthropods, containing lobsters, crabs, crawfish, etc.

crustaceous –  Having a crust-like shell.

cryptogram –  Anything written in characters that are secret or so arranged as to have hidden meaning.

crystallize –  To bring together or give fixed shape to.

cudgel –  A short thick stick used as a club.

culinary –  Of or pertaining to cooking or the kitchen.

cull –  To pick or sort out from the rest.

culpable –  Guilty.

culprit –  A guilty person.

culvert –  Any artificial covered channel for the passage of water through a bank or under a road, canal.

cupidity –  Avarice.

curable –  Capable of being remedied or corrected.

curator –  A person having charge as of a library or museum.

curio –  A piece of bric-a-brac.

cursive –  Writing in which the letters are joined together.

cursory –  Rapid and superficial.

curt –  Concise, compressed, and abrupt in act or expression.

curtail –  To cut off or cut short.

curtsy –  A downward movement of the body by bending the knees.

cycloid –  Like a circle.

cygnet –  A young swan.

cynical –  Exhibiting moral skepticism.

cynicism –  Contempt for the opinions of others and of what others value.

cynosure –  That to which general interest or attention is directed.

← Back

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *