Demurrer

Definition - Noun
[Anglo-French, from demurrer to file a demurrer, literally, to stay, dwell, delay, from Old French demorer, from Latin demorari to delay]
: a plea in response to an allegation (as in a complaint or indictment) that admits its truth but also asserts that it is not sufficient as a cause of action
compare confession and avoidance
Demurrers are no longer used in federal civil or criminal procedure but are still used in some states. General demurrers are replaced in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. Special demurrers are replaced by motions for more definite statement. In the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a motion to dismiss or to grant appropriate relief takes the place of a demurrer. Demurrers are sometimes used to question a court's jurisdiction.
Pronunciationdi-'m&r-&r

Pronunciation Key

  • \&\ as a and u in a b ut
  • \[^&]\ as e in kitt en
  • \&r\ as ur and er in f urther
  • \a\ as a inash
  • \A\ as a in ace
  • \?\ as o in m op
  • \au\ as ou in ou t
  • \ch\ as ch in ch in
  • \e\ as e in bet
  • \E\ as ea in easy
  • \g\ as g in go
  • \i\ as i in hit
  • \I\ as i in ice
  • \j\ as j in job
  • \[ng]\ as ng in sing
  • \O\ as o in go
  • \o\ as aw in law
  • \oi\ as oy in boy
  • \th\ as th in thin
  • \[th_]\ as thin the
  • \?\ as oo in loot
  • \u\ as oo in foot
  • \y\ as y in yet
  • \zh\ as si in vision


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Based on Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©2001.
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.
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