trial by ordeal
- An archaic form of criminal trial where the accused's guilt or innocence was determined by subjecting them to dangerous or painful tests, such as water submersion, with the belief these tests were directed by a divine power
- In ancient times, the guilt of a suspect might be determined through a trial by ordeal, like holding a red-hot iron.
- The village chief decided to settle the accusation of theft through a trial by ordeal, testing if the accused could survive submerging his hand into boiling water.
- Historians today consider the trial by ordeal a primitive and unjust method of determining guilt or innocence.