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mittimus (MIT-uh-muhs) noun

An official order to commit someone to prison.

[From Latin, literally "we send" from mittere (to send).]

Here are some cousins of today's word mittimus: admit, commit, emit, dismiss, missile, mission, missive, promise. Who would have thought these disparate words might have anything in common! They all involve the idea of sending and they share the common parentage: Latin mittere. -Anu

The clerk who wrote this mittimus screwed up. ... The mittimus turned out to be a get-out-of-jail-free card. Instead of being locked up, Callahan was sent for treatment at the Alternative Correction Center in Braintree, then sent home with an electronic bracelet." Beverly Beckham, Justice Delayed And Denied, The Boston Herald, Dec 4, 1998.

This week's theme: terms from the world of law.


'I am ashamed of my emptiness,'/ said the Word to the Work. / 'I know how poor I am when I see you,' said the Work to the Word. -Rabindranath Tagore, poet, philosopher, author, songwriter, painter, educator, composer, Nobel laureate (1861-1941)

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