forensic

adjective
fo·​ren·​sic | \ fə-ˈren(t)-sik How to pronounce forensic (audio) , -ˈren-zik How to pronounce forensic (audio) \

Definition of forensic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : belonging to, used in, or suitable to courts of judicature or to public discussion and debate a lawyer's forensic skills
2 : argumentative, rhetorical forensic eloquence
3 : relating to or dealing with the application of scientific knowledge to legal problems forensic medicine forensic science forensic pathologist forensic experts

forensic

noun

Definition of forensic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an argumentative exercise
2 forensics plural in form but singular or plural in construction : the art or study of argumentative discourse
3 forensics plural in form but singular or plural in construction : the application of scientific knowledge to legal problems especially : scientific analysis of physical evidence (as from a crime scene)

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Other Words from forensic

Adjective

forensically \ fə-​ˈren(t)-​si-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce forensically (audio) , -​ˈren-​zi-​ \ adverb

Did You Know?

The noun forensic, meaning “an argumentative exercise” derives from the adjective forensic, whose earliest meaning in English is “belonging to, used in, or suitable to courts or to public discussion and debate.” The English word was derived from a Latin word forensic meaning “of the market place or form, public,” which in turn comes from the Latin word forum, meaning “market place, forum.”

Examples of forensic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Ellroy familiars abound, including William Parker, alcoholic future chief of the Los Angeles Police Department; Hideo Ashida, a brilliant forensic scientist; and, of course, Dudley Smith, LAPD sergeant and ruthless villain. Margaret Wappler, latimes.com, "5 unmissable L.A. book events: James Ellroy, Bloomsday, an L.A. punk poet and more," 14 June 2019 After a confession, alibis are recanted, witnesses change stories, police ignore exculpatory evidence, and forensic scientists reinterpret material. Douglas Starr, Science | AAAS, "This psychologist explains why people confess to crimes they didn’t commit," 13 June 2019 Pauley’s Jackie doesn’t have too much in common with her former role as quirky forensic scientist Abby. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'NCIS' Star Pauley Perrette Was Just Cast in Her First Major Role Since Leaving the Show," 7 Mar. 2019 The series features such actual investigators as Portland Police Detective Molly Daul, and forensic scientist, Nici Vance. Kristi Turnquist, OregonLive.com, "Portland gets the TV true-crime treatment on Investigation Discovery," 12 June 2018 Kelly Lawrence, a forensic scientist with the Northeastern Illinois Crime Laboratory, testified during the hearing that DNA material found on duct tape used to bind Foxworth was, in her opinion, too weak to exclude or include Williford. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Appeal promised after judge denies retrial for man convicted of murder in North Chicago burning death," 5 June 2018 The museum had enlisted forensic scientists to extract DNA from the bone fragment and compare it with DNA from a living Bellamy descendant. CBS News, "Bone recovered from shipwreck not from notorious pirate after all," 24 May 2018 Holes had been obsessed with the Golden State Killer since coming across the case file in the mid-'90s while working as a forensic scientist. Author: Justin Jouvenal, Anchorage Daily News, "To find alleged Golden State Killer, investigators first found his great-great-great grandparents," 1 May 2018 This is partly because most forensic scientists believe DNA to be the least of their field's problems. Katie Worth, WIRED, "Framed for Murder By His Own DNA," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the years immediately after the killing, investigators conducted more than 500 interviews, overworked forensics experts and tested the DNA of more than 70 potential suspects, according to reports. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Lawyers fear prosecutors are fishing for info as they house Death Row inmate with their client," 14 June 2019 The Justice Administrative Commission pays attorneys, investigators, forensics experts and others on behalf of criminal defendants who can’t afford representation when there is a conflict with the public defender’s office. Gray Rohrer, orlandosentinel.com, "Shortfall leaves attorneys, court reporters in lurch as DeSantis ponders budget," 13 June 2019 Willerslev likens the process to police forensics, in which DNA obtained from a crime scene is collected and then matched to a database of criminals. Quanta Magazine, "Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems," 29 May 2019 The original version misidentified witness and computer forensics expert John Dennis Bradley. The Christian Science Monitor, "Corrections," 4 Mar. 2019 The scene was quiet outside the house Monday night, but a heavy police presence, including a vehicle for a forensics team, was evident. Michael Levenson, BostonGlobe.com, "Bodies of three women found at home of Springfield kidnapping suspect identified," 4 June 2018 Using a list of students who began the day in the art classes, student photo IDs and yearbook pictures, the forensics team meticulously pieced together the victims’ identities. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, "Smashed supplies, crumpled bodies: Medical examiner describes 'shocking' scene at Texas school shooting," 25 May 2018 The West forensics team won state nine out of the 10 years before Shipley retired. Katy Bergen, kansascity, "Shawnee Mission West's star maker: Meet the teacher who inspired Rudd and Sudeikis," 29 May 2018 The allegations are backed up by data collected from service provider logs, Bitcoin transaction tracing, and additional forensics. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How they did it (and will likely try again): GRU hackers vs. US elections," 27 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forensic.' 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 forensic

Adjective

1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1814, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for forensic

Adjective and Noun

Latin forensis public, forensic, from forum forum

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Statistics for forensic

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for forensic

The first known use of forensic was in 1659

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More Definitions for forensic

forensic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of forensic

law
: relating to the use of scientific knowledge or methods in solving crimes
somewhat formal : relating to, used in, or suitable to a court of law

forensic

adjective
fo·​ren·​sic | \ fə-ˈren(t)-sik How to pronounce forensic (audio) , -ˈren-zik How to pronounce forensic (audio) \

Medical Definition of forensic

: relating to or dealing with the application of scientific knowledge to legal problems especially in regard to criminal evidence a forensic pathologist forensic experts … a forensic technique of DNA analysis allows for the determination of whether a subject with a specific genetic profile has contributed to aggregate genomic data.— Kathy L. Hudson, The New England Journal of Medicine, 15 Sept. 2011

forensic

adjective
fo·​ren·​sic | \ fə-ˈren-sik, -zik How to pronounce forensic (audio) \

Legal Definition of forensic

1 : belonging to, used in, or suitable to the courts or to public discussion and debate
2 : relating to or dealing with the application of scientific knowledge (as of medicine or linguistics) to legal problems forensic pathology forensic experts

Other Words from forensic

forensically adverb

History and Etymology for forensic

Latin forensis public, forensic, from forum forum

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More from Merriam-Webster on forensic

Spanish Central: Translation of forensic

Nglish: Translation of forensic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forensic for Arabic Speakers

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