noun ju·ris·dic·tion \ˌjr-əs-ˈdik-shən\

: the power or right to make judgments about the law, to arrest and punish criminals, etc.

: the power or right to govern an area

: an area within which a particular system of laws is used

Full Definition of JURISDICTION

:  the power, right, or authority to interpret and apply the law
a :  the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate
b :  the power or right to exercise authority :  control
:  the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised
ju·ris·dic·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
ju·ris·dic·tion·al·ly adverb


  1. The court has jurisdiction over most criminal offenses.
  2. His attorney claimed the court lacked jurisdiction in this matter.
  3. The matter falls outside the jurisdiction of this court.
  4. territory under the jurisdiction of the federal government
  5. He was arrested in another jurisdiction.


Middle English jurisdiccioun, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French jurisdiction, from Latin jurisdiction-, jurisdictio, from juris + diction-, dictio act of saying — more at diction
First Known Use: 14th century

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