from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • interj. Used three times in succession to introduce the opening of a court of law.
  • n. This cry, used to open a court.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. Hear ye. Attend. (Called by public criers or in court usually three times to secure silence).
  • n. A cry of "oyez".

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • interj. Hear; attend; -- a term used by criers of courts to secure silence before making a proclamation. It is repeated three times.


Middle English, from Anglo-Norman French hear ye, imperative pl. of oyer, to hear, from Latin audīre.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman and Middle French oyez, oiez, imperative plural of oir ("to hear"), from Old French oïr ("to hear"), from Latin audiō ("to hear"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.