Meaning of deodand

de•o•dand

Pronunciation: (dē'u-dand"), [key]
— n. Eng. Law.
  1. (before 1846) an animal or article that, having been the immediate cause of the death of a human being, was forfeited to the crown to be applied to pious uses.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.