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

    An instrument for decapitation, used in France for the infliction of the death penalty on convicted criminals, consisting, essentially, of a heavy and weighted knife-blade moving perpendicularly between grooved posts, which is made to fall from a censiderable height upon the neck of the sufferer, immovably fixed in position to receive the impact.