Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

jurisprudence

play
noun ju·ris·pru·dence \ˌju̇r-əs-ˈprü-dən(t)s\

Simple Definition of jurisprudence

  • : the study of law

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of jurisprudence

  1. 1 :  the science or philosophy of law

  2. 2 a :  a system or body of law b :  the course of court decisions

  3. 3 :  a department of law <medical jurisprudence>

jurisprudential play \-prü-ˈden(t)-shəl\ adjective
jurisprudentially play \-ˈden(t)-sh(ə-)lē\ adverb

Did You Know?

For a farewell to our jurisprudent, I wish unto him the gladsome light of jurisprudence. . . . With this valedictory to English jurist Sir Thomas Littleton, another jurist, Sir Edward Coke, welcomed two new words into English. In 1628, his jurisprudence meant "knowledge of or skill in law," a now archaic sense that reflects the literal meaning of the word. "Jurisprudence" goes back to Latin prudentia juris (literally "skill in law"), from which was derived the Late Latin formation jurisprudentia, and subsequently our word. The noun jurisprudent means "one skilled in law" - in other words, "a jurist." There's also "jurisprude," a 20th-century back- formation created from "jurisprudence" with influence from "prude." It means "one who makes ostentatious show of jurisprudential learning."

1654

First Known Use of jurisprudence

1654


Law Dictionary

jurisprudence

play
noun ju·ris·pru·dence \ˌju̇r-əs-ˈprüd-əns\

Legal Definition of jurisprudence

  1. 1a :  a system or body of law <in the federal jurisprudence>; especially :  a body of law dealing with a specific issue or area <labor jurisprudence> b :  the course of court decisions as distinguished from legislation and doctrine <the jurisprudence decided under the source provisions — Louisiana Civil Code>

  2. 2 :  the science or philosophy of law <they have no theories of jurisprudence but…decide each case on its facts — R. H. Bork>

jurisprudential \ˌju̇r-əs-prü-ˈden-chəl\ play adjective


Origin of jurisprudence

Late Latin jurisprudentia knowledge of or skill in law, from Latin juris, genitive of jus right, law + prudentia wisdom, proficiency



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up jurisprudence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

soothe disapprove perplex reduce
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ