Definition of estreat in English:



[with object]historical
  • Enforce the forfeit of (a surety for bail or other recognizance)

    ‘the Court may order the recognizance to be estreated’
    • ‘There have been plenty of decided cases in recent years relating to the obligations of sureties and the circumstances in which their recognisances may be estreated in whole or in part.’
    • ‘It should not be anticipated that the courts will order the entire bail to be estreated when there is no evidence (other than the certificate) to weigh the appropriate sanction.’
    • ‘What the Corporation owned at dissolution was estreated to the Crown.’


  • A copy of a court record for use in the enforcement of a fine or forfeiture of a recognizance.

    ‘new calendars were introduced to record estreats’
    • ‘The right to estreat is triggered by the non-attendance of the defendant at court.’


Middle English from Old French estraite, feminine past participle of estraire, from Latin extrahere ‘draw out’ (see extract).



/ɪˈstriːt/ /ɛˈstriːt/