1605, from L. emancipatus, pp. of emancipare quot;declare (someone) free, give up one's authority over,quot;
in Roman law, the freeing of a son or wife from the legal authority (patria
potestas) of the pater familias, to make his or her own way in the world; from ex- quot;out, awayquot; +
mancipare quot;deliver, transfer or sell,quot; from mancipum quot;ownership,quot; from manus quot;handquot;+ capere quot;takequot;.
Adopted in the cause of religious toleration (17c.), then anti-slavery (1776). Also used in ref. to women
who free themselves from conventional customs (1850). Emancipation in the slavery sense is from 1785.