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English Law. This word is derived from Deo dandum - to be given to God - and is used to designate the instrument, whether it be an animal or inanimate thing, which has caused the death of a man.
The deodand is forfeited to the king and was formerly applied to pious uses. But the presentment of a deodand by a grand jury, under their general charge from the judge of assize, is void.