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

    One who is sued or prosecuted.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    The person defending or denying; the party against whom relief or recovery is sought in an action or suit. Jewett Car Ch v. Kirkpatrick Co.nst Co. (C. C.) 107 Fed. 622; Brower v. Nellis, 6 Ind. App. 323, 33 N. E. 672; Tyler v. State, 63 Vt. 300, 21 Atl. 611; Insurance Co. v. Alexandre (D. O.) 16 Fed. 281. In common usage, this term is applied to the party put upon his defense, or summoned to answer a charge or complaint, in any species of action, civil or criminal, at law or in equity. Strictly, however, it does not apply to the person agninst whom a real action is brought, for in that proceeding the technical usage is to call the parties respectively the "demandant" and the "tenant."
    —Defendant in error. The distinctive term appropriate to the party agninst whom a writ of error is sued out.