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noun prej·u·dice \ˈpre-jə-dəs\

Simple Definition of prejudice

  • : an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc.

  • : a feeling of like or dislike for someone or something especially when it is not reasonable or logical

Full Definition of prejudice

  1. 1 :  injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one's rights; especially :  detriment to one's legal rights or claims

  2. 2 a (1) :  preconceived judgment or opinion (2) :  an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b :  an instance of such judgment or opinion c :  an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

Examples of prejudice

  1. But today most black Americans not hampered by poverty or prejudice take for granted their right to study Italian, listen to Britney Spears or opera, play in the NHL, eat Thai food, live anywhere, work anywhere, play anywhere, read and think and say anything. —Stephan Talty, Mulatto America, 2003

  2. It is easy to suppose at this late date that there is barely any overt racism left in the United States, … Kennedy's catalog of mundane cases of explicit anti-black prejudice provides ample illustration of what lurks beneath the surface politeness of many whites. —John McWhorter, New Republic, 14 Jan. 2002

  3. The boundaries between hate and prejudice and between prejudice and opinion and between opinion and truth are so complicated and blurred that any attempt to construct legal and political fire walls is a doomed and illiberal venture. —Andrew Sullivan, New York Times Magazine, 26 Sept. 1999

  4. When my mother, who, unlike my father, was Jewish, encountered unpleasant social prejudice during my high-school years, I acquired a second marginal identity. —Carl E. Schorske, Thinking with History, 1998

  5. The organization fights against racial prejudice.

  6. religious, racial, and sexual prejudices

  7. We tend to make these kinds of decisions according to our own prejudices.

  8. He has a prejudice against fast-food restaurants.

Origin of prejudice

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin praejudicium previous judgment, damage, from prae- + judicium judgment — more at judicial

First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of prejudice

predilection, prepossession, prejudice, bias mean an attitude of mind that predisposes one to favor something. predilection implies a strong liking deriving from one's temperament or experience <a predilection for travel>. prepossession suggests a fixed conception likely to preclude objective judgment of anything counter to it <a prepossession against technology>. prejudice usually implies an unfavorable prepossession and connotes a feeling rooted in suspicion, fear, or intolerance <a mindless prejudice against the unfamiliar>. bias implies an unreasoned and unfair distortion of judgment in favor of or against a person or thing <a strong bias toward the plaintiff>.



verb prej·u·dice \ˈpre-jə-dəs\

Simple Definition of prejudice

  • : to cause (someone) to have an unfair feeling of dislike for someone or something

  • : to have a harmful effect on (something, such as a legal case)

Full Definition of prejudice


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to injure or damage by some judgment or action (as in a case of law)

  3. 2 :  to cause to have prejudice(see 1prejudice)

Examples of prejudice

  1. Paul Revere … engraved the drawing and printed hundreds of vividly colored copies, which traveled throughout the colonies. Well might one judge at Captain Preston's trial complain that “there has been a great deal done to prejudice the People against the Prisoner.” —Hiller B. Zobel American Heritage, July/August 1995

  2. My friends would have had me delay my departure, but fearful of prejudicing my employers against me by such want of punctuality at the commencement of my undertaking, I persisted in keeping the appointment. —Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey, 1847

  3. <all the bad stories I had heard about the incoming CEO prejudiced me against him even before the first meeting>

Origin of prejudice

(see 1prejudice)

First Known Use: 15th century

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February 10, 2016

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