Some etymologists believe the Germanic word was an early borrowing directly from the Latin genitive. The semantic development is via notion of "to be truly the one (who is guilty)," as in Old Norse phrase verð sannr at "be found guilty of," and the use of the phrase "it is being" in Hittite confessional formula. a wrongful entry upon the lands of another. Meaning "to violate (a law), to make a moral false step, to commit a crime" is from late 14c. Noun . See trespass, n. early 14c., offenden, "to disobey or sin against (a person, human or divine)," a sense now obsolete, from Old French ofendre "hit, attack, injure; sin against; antagonize, excite to anger" and directly from Latin offendere "to hit, thrust, or strike against," figuratively "to stumble, commit a fault, displease, trespass against, provoke," from assimilated form of ob "in front of against" (see ob-) + -fendere "to strike" (found only in compounds; see defend). The Modern French descendant of Old French trespasser, trépasser, has come to be used euphemistically for "to die" (compare euphemistic use of cross over, and obituary). The literal sense of "to attack, assail" (late 14c.) "steal game," 1520s, "to push, poke," from Middle French pocher "to thrust, poke," from Old French pochier "poke out, gouge, prod, jab," from a Germanic source (compare Middle High German puchen "to pound, beat, knock," German pochen, Middle Dutch boken "to beat") related to poke (v.). This led to the common supposition in legal writers that the word means etymologically "failure to denounce" a crime. Related: Trespassed; trespassing. Etymology 1 . Related: Offended; offending; offendedness. In 16c., misprision of treason was used for lesser degrees of guilt (those not subject to capital punishment), especially for knowing of treasonable actions or plots without assenting to them, but not informing the authorities. trespass (countable and uncountable, plural trespasses). Meaning "to wound the feelings of, displease, give displeasure to, excite personal annoyance or resentment in" is from late 14c. History and Etymology for trespass Verb Middle English, from Anglo-French trespasser to overtake, exceed, wrong, from tres to a high degree (from Latin trans beyond) + … a wrongful interference with the possession of property (personal property as well as realty), or the action instituted to recover damages, entry to another's property without right or permission. trespass (v.) c. 1300, "transgress in some active manner, commit an aggressive offense, to sin," from Old French trespasser "pass beyond or across, cross, traverse; infringe, violate," from tres-"beyond" (from Latin trans; see trans-) + passer "go by, pass" (see pass (v.)).
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