ad·​ju·​di·​cate ə-ˈjü-di-ˌkāt How to pronounce adjudicate (audio)
adjudicated; adjudicating

transitive verb

: to make an official decision about who is right in (a dispute) : to settle judicially
The school board will adjudicate claims made against teachers.

intransitive verb

: to act as judge
The court can adjudicate on this dispute.
adjudicative adjective
adjudicator noun
adjudicatory adjective

Did you know?

Adjudicate, which is usually used to mean "to make an official decision about who is right in a dispute," is one of several terms that give testimony to the influence of jus, the Latin word for "law," on our legal language. Others include judgment, judicial, prejudice, jury, justice, injury, and perjury. What's the verdict? Latin "law" words frequently preside in English-speaking courtrooms.

Examples of adjudicate in a Sentence

The board will adjudicate claims made against teachers. The case was adjudicated in the state courts. The board will adjudicate when claims are made against teachers.
Recent Examples on the Web Children aged 10 and 11 who are adjudicated delinquent are held in private facilities. Laura A. Bischoff, The Enquirer, 12 June 2024 In addition to limiting asylum applications, the Senate bill would have added millions of dollars to hire additional border patrol officers, immigration judges and hearing officers in an effort to resolve the backlog and create a system in which asylum claims could be adjudicated swiftly. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2024 Other questions are in the past tense, such as asking the potential gun buyer whether he or she has ever been discharged from the military or been adjudicated as a mental defective. Michael Kunzelman, Randall Chase, TIME, 6 June 2024 The case against Federico-Flores is the first to be adjudicated. Chris Ramirez, Journal Sentinel, 4 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for adjudicate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'adjudicate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin adjūdicātus, past participle of adjūdicāre "to adjudge"

First Known Use

circa 1695, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of adjudicate was circa 1695


Dictionary Entries Near adjudicate

Cite this Entry

“Adjudicate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


ad·​ju·​di·​cate ə-ˈjüd-i-ˌkāt How to pronounce adjudicate (audio)
adjudicated; adjudicating
: to decide, award, or sentence judicially
adjudicate a claim

Legal Definition


ad·​ju·​di·​cate ə-ˈjü-di-ˌkāt How to pronounce adjudicate (audio)
adjudicated; adjudicating

transitive verb

: to settle either finally or temporarily (the rights and duties of the parties to a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding) on the merits of the issues raised
: to pass judgment on as a judge : settle judicially
: to pronounce judicially to be
was adjudicated a bankrupt
was adjudicated the child's father
: to convey by judicial sale

intransitive verb

: to come to a judicial decision : act as judge
the court adjudicated upon the case
adjudication noun
ə-ˈjü-di-ˌkā-tiv, -kə-
adjudicator noun

Latin adjudicare to award in judgment, from ad to, for + judicare to judge see judge

More from Merriam-Webster on adjudicate

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