de jure

adverb or adjective
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

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 Who could deny that slavery, Jim Crow and de jure and de facto segregation were not racist, or would argue that their effects could have disappeared entirely? WSJ, 19 Nov. 2021 Regardless, activist courts ignored the letter of the law at the urging of liberal elites and began signing off on school-integration plans that equated any racial imbalance in classrooms with de jure segregation. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 The list most closely tied to President Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Fernández, the de jure and de facto leaders of the FdT, was headed by Tanya Bertoldi (spouse of the FdT mayor of Centenario, Javier Bertoldi). Baker Institute, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 In Brown, the Supreme Court struck down de jure segregation in the United States. Bryan Greene, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Aug. 2021 After a brutal civil war, which still simmers in a few parts of the country, some of these same people have been de facto or de jure labeled in the West as war criminals — first and foremost among them is Assad. David W. Lesch, CNN, 12 June 2021 Their descendants continued to carry the torch, not settling for de jure freedom, not settling for sharecropping, not settling for segregation. USA Today, 20 May 2021 This is a very literal introduction to a film about the evils of de facto and de jure oppression of Black people in America that’s crafted as a high-concept nightmare. Lindsey Bahr,, 16 Sep. 2020 Biden in response relied on a 1970s-vintage policy distinction between de jure and de facto school segregation. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, 3 July 2019 See More

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.

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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The first known use of de jure was in 1611

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Cite this Entry

“De jure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for de jure

de jure

adverb or adjective
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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