Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In old English practice. The peculiar hand in which the records of courts were written from the earliest period down to the reign of George II. Its characteristics were great strength, compactness, and undeviating unlformity; and its use undoubtedly gave to the ancient record its acknowledged superiority over the modern, in the important quality of durability. The writing of this hand, with its peculiar abbreviations and contractions, constituted, while it was in use, an art of no little importance, being an indispensable part of the profession of "clerkship," as it was calied. Two sizes of it were employed, a large and a small hand; the former, calied "great court-hand," being used for initial words or clauses, the placita of records, etc. BurrilL