What is INDENT, v?

To cut in a serrated or waving line. In old conveyancing, if a deed was made by more parties than one, it was usual to make as many copies of it as there were parties, and each was cut or indented (either in acute angles, like the teetli of a saw, or in a waving line) at the top or side, to tally or correspond with the others, and the deed so made was called an “indenture.” Anciently, both parts were written on the same piece of parchment, with some word or letters written between them through which the parchment was cut, but afterwards, the word or letters being omitted, indenting came into use, the idea of which was that the genuineness of each part might be proved by its fitting into the angles cut in the other. But at length even this was discontinued, and at present the term serves only to give name to the species of deed executed by two or more parties, as opposed to a deed-poll, (q. v.) 2 Bl. Comm. 295. To bind by indentures; to apprentice; as to indent a young man to a shoe-maker. Webster.

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