A legal doublet is a standardized phrase used frequently in English legal language consisting of two or more words that are near synonyms, usually connected by "and", and in standard orders, such as "cease and desist".
The doubling—and sometimes even tripling—often originates in the transition from use of one language for legal purposes to another: in Britain, from a native English term to a Latin or Law French term; in Romance-speaking countries, from Latin to the vernacular. To ensure understanding, the terms from both languages were used. This reflected the interactions between Germanic and Roman law following the decline of the Roman Empire. These phrases are often pleonasms and form irreversible binomials. It would be particularly unusual to ask someone to "desist and cease" or to protest a "seizure and search"; these common legal phrases are universally known as "cease and desist" and "search and seizure".
In other cases, the two components have differences which are subtle, appreciable only to lawyers, or obsolete. For example, ways and means, referring to methods and resources respectively, are differentiable, in the same way that tools and materials, or equipment and funds, are differentiable—but the difference between them is often practically irrelevant to the contexts in which the irreversible binomial ways and means is used today in non-legal contexts as a mere cliché.
Doublets may also have arisen or persisted because the solicitors and clerks who drew up conveyances and other documents were paid by the word, which tended to encourage verbosity.
Their habitual use has been decried by some legal scholars as superfluous in modern legal briefs.