chief justice


: the presiding or principal judge of a court of justice

Examples of chief justice in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2022, incumbent justices, Democrat Jennifer Brunner and Republican Sharon Kennedy, ran against each other for the chief justice post, which was an open seat. Laura A. Bischoff, The Enquirer, 21 Mar. 2024 The chief justice of Alabama, unfettered by the Constitution’s establishment clause — or rather unfettered by its disappearance — now feels free to say that Christianity determines the content of Alabama law. Noah Feldman, Twin Cities, 23 Feb. 2024 Jonathan Dienst Jonathan Dienst is chief justice contributor for NBC News and chief investigative reporter for WNBC-TV in New York. Jonathan Dienst, NBC News, 27 Mar. 2024 The associate justice who was running for the open chief justice spot concurred with the majority decision and later won her primary but hasn't spoken extensively about IVF on the trail. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 21 Mar. 2024 Writing for the majority, John Roberts, the chief justice, asserted that affirmative action is in itself a form of discrimination. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, 6 Mar. 2024 The state Supreme Court's chief justice, Debra Todd, said a federal investigation was continuing. Marc Levy, Quartz, 15 Feb. 2024 Led by a former chief justice of Maine's highest court, the commission also included a former U.S. attorney and the former chief forensic psychologist for the state. CBS News, 15 Mar. 2024 But its wording — paired with a fiery opinion from the chief justice encouraging lawmakers to push its scope further — has left many wondering about the possible wider implications for people seeking I.V.F. treatment. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, 23 Feb. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chief justice was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near chief justice

Cite this Entry

“Chief justice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

chief justice

: the presiding or principal judge of a court of justice

Legal Definition

chief justice

: a chief judge of a usually higher level court
specifically, often capitalized : the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
chief justiceship noun

More from Merriam-Webster on chief justice

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