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

    A wrong; an offense; a misdemeanor.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In the Roman and civil law. A wrong or injury; an offense; a violation of public or private duty. It will be observed that this word, taken in its most general sense, is wider in both directions than our English term "tort." On the one hand, it includes those wrongful acts which, while directly affecting some individual or his property, yet extend in their injurious consequences to the peace or security of the community at large, and hence rise to the grade of crimes or misdemeanors. These acts were termed in the Roman law "public delicis;" while those for which the only penalty exacted was compensation to the person primarily injured were denominated "private delicts." On the other hand, the term appears to have included injurious actions which transpired without any malicious intention on the part of the doer. Thus Pothier gives the name "quasi delicis" to the acts of a person who, without malignity, but by an inexcusable imprudence, causes an injury to another. Poth. Obi. 116. But the term is used in modem jurisprudence as a convenient synonym of "tort;" that is, a wrongful and injurious violation of a jusi rem or right available against nil the world. This appears in the two contrasted phrases, "actions ex contractu" and "actions e delicto." Quasi delict. An act whereby a person, without malice, but by fault, negligence, or imprudence not legally excusable, causes injury to another. They were four in number, viz.:
    (1) Qui judex litem suam fecit, being the offense of partiahty or excess in the judex, (juryman;) e. g., in assessing the damages at a figure in excess of the extreme limit permitted by the formula.
    (2) Dejectum effusumve allquid, being the tort committed by one's servant in emptying or throwing something out of an attic or uppea story upon a person passing beneath.
    (3) Damnum infectum, being the offense of hanging dangerous articles over the heads of persons passing along the king's highway.
    (4) Torts committed by one's agents (e. g., stable-boys, shop-managers, etc.) in the course of their employment Brown.