de ju·​re | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈju̇r-ē How to pronounce de jure (audio) , (ˌ)dā-ˈyu̇r- How to pronounce de jure (audio) \

Definition of de jure

1 : by right : of right
2 : based on laws or actions of the state de jure segregation

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Did You Know?

Coming straight from Latin, de jure is a term used mostly, but not always, in legal writing. Sometimes it's not enough to have something written into law; if a law isn't enforced, it might as well not exist. And if ordinary citizens are too scared of what would happen to them if they exercised their rights, then they don't really have those rights at all. Unfortunately, many countries have constitutions and laws that sound good but turn out not to have much effect. So de jure is almost always used in contrast to something else; its opposite is de facto.

Examples of de jure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Linda Brown is now being honored both by those who recognize the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education as incomplete, and those who very much want to limit it to its original scope of de jure (as opposed to de facto) segregation. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Linda Brown, Center of Watershed Desegregation Case, Dies at 76," 26 Mar. 2018 But this fantasy of commonality has always excluded, de jure and de facto, large swaths of the American population on the basis of their identities. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, "America’s Original Identity Politics," 7 Feb. 2019 No longer content with maintaining de facto apartheid rule in the occupied West Bank, Israeli lawmakers are moving to establish the de jure variety. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Natalie Portman and the Crisis of Liberal Zionism," 26 Apr. 2018 Redlining as supported by the federal government, segregation in the Army, and de jure segregation in public schools are but a few examples of how institutions have upheld white supremacy. Angela Helm, The Root, "Trump’s New ‘Work for Welfare’ Rules Protect Poor Whites at the Expense of Urban Blacks," 22 May 2018 Would someone please explain de jure versus de facto discrimination to the 71-year old Letterman? Nell Scovell, The Cut, "David Letterman Just Can’t Figure Out Why He Never Had Women Writers," 14 May 2018 Today de jure segregation is gone; there are a vast number of non-clerical African-American leaders and role models available; and fighters for racial justice no longer think the color-blind principles of the Declaration are enough. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "William Barber II and the MLK Legacy of Church-Based Activism," 15 Jan. 2018 The Soviet Union helped establish Israel and was the first country to bestow on it de jure diplomatic recognition, as well as getting satellite Czechoslovakia to supply it with weapons in 1948. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "Israel Caught in U.S.-Russia Rift Over Syria," 11 Apr. 2018 The absence of de jure segregation, of furious mobs spitting and screaming at the front door, is heralded as the true test of justice—a low, low bar. Eve L. Ewing, The Atlantic, "King’s Vision for Education Was Grander Than Desegregation Alone," 22 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of de jure

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for de jure

Medieval Latin

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Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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The first known use of de jure was in 1611

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More Definitions for de jure

de jure


English Language Learners Definition of de jure

law : based on or according to the law
de ju·​re | \ dē-ˈju̇r-ē, dā-ˈyu̇r-ā How to pronounce de jure (audio) \

Legal Definition of de jure

1 : by right : of right a de jure officer
2 : in accordance with law — see also de jure segregation at segregation — compare de facto

History and Etymology for de jure

Medieval Latin, literally, from the law

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More from Merriam-Webster on de jure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with de jure

Nglish: Translation of de jure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of de jure for Arabic Speakers

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to complain fretfully

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