mulct [mʌlkt] v. t.
1.) To punish (a person, an offence) by a fine. Also occas. to subject to a penalty of any kind. (The penalty or amount is expressed by a second object, or introduced by in.)
2.) To deprive or divest of.
1.) A fine imposed for an offence. Also occasionally in wider sense, a compulsory payment (usually implying unfair or arbitrary exaction).
2.) A penalty of any kind.
3.) Misused by Massinger for: A blemish. Cf. quote 1619 in sense 2, which Massinger has unintelligently imitated (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).
Etymology: From Middle English multen, to fine, from Latin multare, mulctare, from mulcta, fine.
"To take from
The workmanship of heaven is an offence
As great as to endeavour to add to it;
Of which I'll not be guilty. Chastity,
That lodges in deformity, appears rather
A mulct imposed by Nature, than a blessing;
And 'tis commendable only when it conquers,
Though ne'er so oft assaulted, in resistance:
For me, I'll therefore so dispose myself,
That if I hold out it shall be with honour;
Or if I yield, Miranda shall find something
To make him love his victory."
(The Knight of Malta, John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont, 1619)
Hi, all. Sort of a specialized word, I guess, but I couldn't resist an OED entry that insults the intelligence of the author of one of its citations! Here's the Massinger quote for those that are interested:
Bertoldo: If so, what diverts
Your favour from me?
Camiola: No mulct in your selfe,
Or in your person, mind or fortune.
(The Maid of Honour, Philip Massinger, 1632)