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noun, ju·ry \ˈju̇r-ē\

Simple Definition of jury

  • : a group of people who are members of the public and are chosen to make a decision in a legal case

  • : a group of people who decide the winners in a contest

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of jury

plural juries

  1. 1 :  a body of persons sworn to give a verdict on some matter submitted to them; especially :  a body of persons legally selected and sworn to inquire into any matter of fact and to give their verdict according to the evidence

  2. 2 :  a committee for judging and awarding prizes at a contest or exhibition

  3. 3 :  one (as the public or test results) that will decide —used especially in the phrase the jury is still out

Examples of jury in a sentence

  1. The jury failed to reach a verdict.

  2. She was selected to serve on a jury.

Origin of jury

Middle English jure, from Anglo-French juree, from jurer to swear, from Latin jurare, from jur-, jus

First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with jury



adjective ju·ry

Definition of jury

  1. :  improvised for temporary use especially in an emergency :  makeshift <a jury mast> <a jury rig>

Origin of jury

Middle English jory (in jory saile improvised sail)

First Known Use: 15th century



verb, ju·ry

Definition of jury


  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to select material as appropriate for exhibition in (as an art show) —used chiefly as a participle <a juried show>

Origin of jury


First Known Use: 1947

JURY Defined for Kids


noun ju·ry \ˈju̇r-ē\

Definition of jury for Students

plural juries

  1. 1 :  a group of citizens chosen to hear and decide the facts of a case in a court of law

  2. 2 :  a committee that judges and awards prizes (as at an exhibition)

Word Root of jury

The Latin word jus, meaning “law” or “rights,” and its form juris give us the roots jus and jur. Words from the Latin jus have something to do with law. A juror is a person who decides the facts of a case in a court of law. A jury is a group of jurors. When a decision in a court is just, it is fair and right and agrees with the law. Even the first two letters of judge, to form an opinion about whether something follows the law and is right, come from jus.

Law Dictionary


noun ju·ry \ˈju̇r-ē\

Legal Definition of jury

plural juries

  1. :  a body of individuals sworn to give a decision on some matter submitted to them; especially :  a body of individuals selected and sworn to inquire into a question of fact and to give their verdict according to the evidence —occasionally used with a plural verb <the jury are always to decide whether the inference shall be drawn — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.>

Additional Notes on jury

The jury of American and English law most likely originated in early Anglo-Norman property proceedings, where a body of 12 knights or freemen who were from the area, and usually familiar with the parties, would take an oath and answer questions put to them by a judge in order to determine property rights. Jury verdicts began to be used in felony cases in the early 1200s as the use of the trial by ordeal declined. The questions put to those early juries were usually questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law. Modern juries may deal with questions of law in addition to questions of fact when rendering general verdicts, or in specific cases under state law. Federal juries are usually limited to dealing with questions of fact. The modern jury can vary in size depending on the proceeding but is usually made up of 6 or 12 members. According to federal law, federal grand and petit juries must be “selected at random from a fair cross-section of the community in the district or division wherein the court convenes.” State jury selection varies and occasionally differs from federal, but the states still must meet constitutional requirements for due process. The U.S. Supreme Court has stated in a series of decisions that a jury is to be composed of “peers and equals,” and that systematic exclusion of a particular class (as on the basis of gender, race, or ancestry) from a jury violates the equal protection clause and the defendant's right to a jury trial. A defendant is not, however, entitled to a jury of any particular composition.

Origin of jury

Anglo-French juree, from feminine past participle of Old French jurer to swear, from Latin jurare, from jur-, jus law

Seen and Heard

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tending to dismiss important matters

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