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

Definition of adjudicate

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.

Other Words from adjudicate

adjudicative \ ə-​ˈjü-​di-​ˌkā-​tiv How to pronounce adjudicate (audio) , -​kə-​ \ adjective
adjudicator \ ə-​ˈjü-​di-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce adjudicate (audio) \ noun
adjudicatory \ ə-​ˈjü-​di-​kə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce adjudicate (audio) \ 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 The DIFC Courts adjudicate on disputes in what is arguably the most important commercial hub in the Middle East region. Dominic Dudley, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 The request sought to move the trial to another location or bring an outside jury to adjudicate it. Lydia Morrell, Journal Sentinel, 20 June 2022 Massive case backlogs continue to plague U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the immigration court system, crippling the government's ability to adjudicate applications in a timely manner. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 20 Jan. 2022 In 2021, the Maryland General Assembly mandated that each county in the state create a local police accountability board and administrative charging committee to adjudicate police disciplinary matters. Madison Bateman, Baltimore Sun, 21 May 2022 Judge Kevin Enright also declined to order a second trial as sought by the city of San Diego, finding there was no reason to retry a case that took almost six weeks to adjudicate earlier this year. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 June 2022 There’s a broken enforcement model, with cases taking too long to adjudicate and punishments often being directed toward those who had nothing to do with the violations. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2022 In turn, jurists began to trust reporters to make their own calls as to what was in the public interest to expose—to adjudicate what was newsworthy and what was not. Sarah E. Igo, The Atlantic, 6 Apr. 2022 The International Court of Justice was established in 1945 by the U.N. charter to adjudicate disputes between states. Dahlia Scheindlin, The New Republic, 18 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adjudicate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of adjudicate

circa 1695, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for adjudicate

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

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The first known use of adjudicate was circa 1695

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Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Adjudicate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for adjudicate


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

Legal Definition of adjudicate

transitive verb

1 : 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
2 : to pass judgment on as a judge : settle judicially
3 : to pronounce judicially to be was adjudicated a bankrupt was adjudicated the child's father
4 : to convey by judicial sale

intransitive verb

: to come to a judicial decision : act as judge the court adjudicated upon the case

Other Words from adjudicate

adjudication \ ə-​ˌjü-​di-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce adjudicate (audio) \ noun
adjudicative \ ə-​ˈjü-​di-​ˌkā-​tiv, -​kə-​ \ noun
adjudicator \ -​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce adjudicate (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for adjudicate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on adjudicate

Nglish: Translation of adjudicate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adjudicate for Arabic Speakers


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