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

    An obligation or duty, springing from a contract express or implied, on one person to make good any loss or damage another has incurred while acting at his request or for his benefit. See 107 Ala. 547, 54 Am. St. Rep. 118, 19 South. 180.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    An indemnity is a collateral contract or assurance, by which one person engages to secure another against an anticipated loss or to prevent him from being damnified by the legal consequences of an act or forbearance on the part of one of the parties or of some third person. See Civ. Code Cal. § 2772, Davis v. Phoenix Ins. Co., Ill Cal. 409, 48 Pac. 1115; Vandiver v. Poliak, 107 Ala. 547, 19 South. 180, 54 Am. St. Rep. 118; Henderson-Achert Lithographic Co. v. John Shillito Co., 64 Ohio St 236, 60 N. E. 295, 83 Am. St Rep. 745. Thus, in-suranco is a contract of indemnity. So an indemnifying bond is given to a sheriff who fears to proceed under an execution where the property is claimed by a stranger. The term is also used to denote a compensation given to make the person whole from a loss already sustained; as where the government gives indemnity for private property taken by it for public use. A legislative act, assuring a general dispensation from punishment or exemption from prosecution to persons involved in offenses, omissions of official duty, or acts in excess of authority, is called an indemnity; strictly it is an act of indemnity.
    —Indemnity bond. A band for the payment of a penal sum conditioned to be void if the obligor shall indemnify and save harmless the obligee against some anticipated loss or liability .
    —Indemnity contract. A contract between two parties whereby the one undertakes and agrees to indemnify the other against loss or damage arising from some contemplated act on the part of the indemnitor, or from some responsibility assumed by the indemnitee, or from the claim or demand of a third person, that is, to make good to him such pecuniary damage as he may suffer. See Wicker v. Hoppock, 6 Wall. 99, 18 Li. Ed. 752,
    —Indemnity lands. Lands granted to railroads, in aid of their construction, being portions of the public domain, to be selected in lieu of other parcels embraced within the original grant, but which were lost to the railroad by previous disposition or by reservation for other purposes. See Wisconsin Cent. R. Co. v. Price County, 133 U. S. 496, 10 Sup. Ct. 341, 33 I,. Ed. 687; Barney v. Winona & St. P. R. Co., 117 U. S. 228, 6 Sup. Ct. 654, 29 In Ed. 858; Altschul v. Clark, 39 Or. 315, 65 Pac. 991.