Deodand (Lat. Deo, "to God," dandus, "given"), a thing given or forfeited to God in consequence of its having caused the death of a human being. If a cart, for instance, should crush a man to death it would become a deodand, that is, to be distributed to the poor by the royal almoner, by way of expiation or atonement for the death which it has caused. See Ex 21:28.

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