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 tenant’s failure to appear in court on being summoned, though he had appeared previously.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In old English practice. The tenant in a real action, having once appeared, was considered as constructively present in court until again calied upon. Hence if, upon being demanded, he failed to appear, he was said to have "departed in despite [i. c., contempt] of the court"