• WordNet 3.6
    • n assize an ancient writ issued by a court of assize to the sheriff for the recovery of property
    • n assize the regulation of weights and measures of articles offered for sale
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Assize (Law) A court, the sitting or session of a court, for the trial of processes, whether civil or criminal, by a judge and jury.
    • Assize (Law) A kind of writ or real action.
    • Assize (Law) A special kind of jury or inquest.
    • Assize (Law) A statute or ordinance in general. Specifically: (1) A statute regulating the weight, measure, and proportions of ingredients and the price of articles sold in the market; as, the assize of bread and other provisions; (2) A statute fixing the standard of weights and measures.
    • Assize (Law) A verdict or finding of a jury upon such writ.
    • Assize An assembly of knights and other substantial men, with a bailiff or justice, in a certain place and at a certain time, for public business.
    • Assize (Law) Anything fixed or reduced to a certainty in point of time, number, quantity, quality, weight, measure, etc.; as, rent of assize .
    • Assize Measure; dimension; size. "An hundred cubits high by just assize ."
    • Assize (Law) The periodical sessions of the judges of the superior courts in every county of England for the purpose of administering justice in the trial and determination of civil and criminal cases; -- usually in the plural.
    • Assize (Law) The time or place of holding the court of assize; -- generally in the plural, assizes.
    • Assize To assess; to value; to rate.
    • Assize To fix the weight, measure, or price of, by an ordinance or regulation of authority.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n assize Originally, a sitting or session of a legislative body or court.
    • n assize Hence An edict, ordinance, or enactment made at such a session or sitting, or issued by such a body. Specifically, in English history: An ordinance fixing the weight, measure, and price of articles of general consumption sold in market: as, the assize of measures in the reign of Henry II., and the assize of bread and ale (51 Hen. III.).
    • n assize A jury, or trial by jury: now used only in Scotland with reference to criminal causes. See grand assize, below.
    • n assize A name given to certain writs commanding juries to be summoned for the trial of causes: as, assize of novel disseizin, the ancient common-law remedy for the recovery of the possession of lands.
    • n assize The verdict of a jury in such a case.
    • n assize The periodical session held by royal commission by at least one of the judges of the superior courts directed to take the assizes or verdicts of a particular jury (anciently called the assize), in each of the counties of England and Wales (with the exception of London and the parts adjoining), for the purpose of trying issues nisi prius and jail-delivery for criminal cases: popularly called the assizes. [This is the only sense in which the word is now used in law.] The commission by which assizes are held is either general or special. A general commission is issued twice a year to the judges of the High Court of Justice, two judges being usually assigned to each circuit. A special commission is granted to certain judges to try certain causes and crimes.
    • n assize In a more general sense, any court or session of a court of justice.
    • n assize Situation; place.
    • n assize Judgment: as, the last or great assize (that is, the last judgment or last day).
    • n assize Sometimes spelled assise.
    • assize In a general sense, to fix; appoint.
    • assize To fix the rate of; assess, as taxes.
    • assize To fix the weight, measure, or price of, by an ordinance or authoritative regulation.
    • n assize In geological classification, the French equivalent of the term bed, constituting one of the minor subdivisions in geology. An assize, or bed, is composed of two or more zones; two or more assizes, or beds, constitute a group, stage, or étage.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Assize as-sīz′ to assess: to set or fix the quantity or price
    • n Assize a statute settling the weight, measure, or price of anything: :
    • n Assize (Scot.) a trial by jury, the jury: judgment, sentence, the Last Judgment
    • n Assize (pl.) the sessions or sittings of a court held periodically in English counties, at which causes are tried by judges of the High Court of Justice on circuit and a jury
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. assise, asise, OF. assise, F. assises, assembly of judges, the decree pronounced by them, tax, impost, fr. assis, assise, p. p. of asseoir, fr. L. assidre, to sit by; ad, + sedēre, to sit. See Sit Size, and cf. Excise Assess


In literature:

The assizes begin here at Carmarthen on the 29th of next month.
"Cousin Henry" by Anthony Trollope
The king was highly displeased, and threatened to have the jury indicted for a wilful error upon an assize.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay
He recommended the establishment of an additional circuit and of a second assize.
"The Rise of Canada, from Barbarism to Wealth and Civilisation" by Charles Roger
Which at Request of sd Devin and by ord'r of his Maj'ties Justices of Assize etc.
"Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period" by Various
Meere succeeded at the assizes in sustaining his right to the bailiwick.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
Some years before, when he stood in the Assize Court, a venerable judge had told him so.
"War and the Weird" by Forbes Phillips
She went to the last assizes, and fell in with some dragoon officers at a ball.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 343, May 1844" by Various
I should not appear before the Assizes!
"Nobody's Boy" by Hector Malot
From eight to ten of these desperate characters were sent to Cork for trial at every assize of Bear Haven.
"The Continental Monthly, Vol 3 No 3, March 1863" by Various
The Bloody Assize had left its terror on the Whigs.
"History of the English People, Volume VII (of 8)" by John Richard Green

In poetry:

"Still, in perpetual judgment,
I hold assize within,
With sure reward of holiness,
And dread rebuke of sin.
"The Vision Of Echard" by John Greenleaf Whittier
The flowers with the hardy eyes,
The bread that feeds the gods,
These will be you till Last Assize
When I'm improper sods.
"Days Pass: Men Pass" by Stephen Vincent Benet
The Sheriffe of Oxford late is grown so wise
As to repreive his Beere till next assize:
Alas! twas not so quick, twas not so heady,
The Jury sate and found it dead already.
"Upon The Sherrifs Beere" by William Strode
When thou descendest once the shades among,
The stern assize and equal judgment o'er,
Not thy long lineage nor thy golden tongue,
No, nor thy righteousness, shall friend thee more.
"Diffugere Nives" by A E Housman
In this cage or that, a linnet or finch,
And the points it had were declared and surmised:
And this one's tail was spread out, and there
Two little half-moons, the marks that were prized;
And you looked well on the bird assized.
"Dublin Roads" by Padraic Colum
What, think ye, will their penance be
Who have wrought this monstrous crime?
What shall whiten their blood-red hands
Of the stains of riven and ravished lands?
How shall they answer God's stern commands
At the last assize of Time?
"The Vale Of Shadows" by Clinton Scollard