forensic

adjective
fo·​ren·​sic | \fə-ˈren(t)-sik, -ˈren-zik \

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, -​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

Pierce says three people have reported their petition signatures were forgeries and a forensic handwriting expert has questioned the authenticity of dozens of petition signatures. Ryan Tarinelli, The Seattle Times, "Ousted gay Texas council member sues over recall defeat," 20 Nov. 2018 The remains that are found are being sent to the Sacramento County morgue, where forensic experts will use fingerprints, dental records and medical records to try to identify them. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "After Paradise Fire, a Hunt for Human Remains Among the Ashes," 16 Nov. 2018 Kavanaugh interviewed witnesses, forensic experts and a medical examiner and concluded there was no doubt Foster had killed himself. Michael Kranish And Ann E. Marimow, BostonGlobe.com, "From Clinton to Trump: How Brett Kavanaugh navigated through some of Washington’s biggest scandals," 10 July 2018 An officer told a forensic investigator there was no suspicion of alcohol use by the driver and charges were not likely, according to the reports. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pedestrian dies after crash in Milwaukee; driver unlikely to be charged, reports say," 2 July 2018 The company conducted an internal investigation and brought in outside cybersecurity consultants and forensic investigators. John Sowell, idahostatesman, "This Boise firm says personal data of 4,000 employees, customers may have been stolen," 26 June 2018 Detectives and forensic investigators could be seen removing bags of potential evidence from the apartment overnight. Richard Winton, latimes.com, "Authorities had previously visited home where boy was found dead under suspicious circumstances," 22 June 2018 Jones was a suspect in the deaths of Dr. Steven Pitt, the forensic investigator in the murder of Ramsey. Angela Helm, The Root, "Arizona Mass Murderer Identified as Dwight Lamon Jones, Who Killed Half a Dozen Connected to His Divorce," 4 June 2018 Soot was found in her respiratory system, and forensic investigators determined the victim died in the fire. Cassie Dickman, sacbee, "Could DNA technology help identify body from dumpster fire nearly 20 years ago? | The Sacramento Bee," 26 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, the phones’ constituent parts could be used or work without cellular service, a computer forensics official told the Chronicle. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Apple Store robberies continue in Bay Area, with 9 stores hit this month," 27 Sep. 2018 The widely accepted account that hijackers commandeered and crashed the four 9/11 planes is supported by reams of evidence, from cockpit recordings to forensics to the fact that crews and passengers never returned home. Popular Mechanics, "Debunking 9/11 Myths: About the Airplanes," 11 Sep. 2018 What happened next is detailed in a stack of witness statements and forensics reports: The man got back into his Buick Regal as a black BMW tore out of the bank lot, sped down the alley and cut him off. chicagotribune.com, "Almost nothing is known about dozens of concealed carry shootings in Illinois. Why?," 15 June 2018 The Ministry of Home Affairs announced in late May that forensics laboratories would be improved. Huizhong Wu, CNN, "Sexual violence victims can wait years for India's overtaxed crime labs," 6 June 2018 Any automated checks are more than likely to fail, says Dartmouth College professor and forensics expert Hany Farid. James Vincent, The Verge, "Browser plug-ins that spot fake news show the difficulty of tackling the ‘information apocalypse’," 23 Aug. 2018 Abby ended the episode in her true NCIS home, her lab, packing up some dolls and leaving a copy of Abby's Lab for Dummies for the next forensics specialist. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "'NCIS' recap: How Pauley Perrette's Abby says goodbye, after a big twist and lots of flashbacks," 9 May 2018 Glendale budgeted $110,865 for a new forensics specialist. Jen Fifield, azcentral, "'We had sewage coming up from the drains': 5 ways northwest Valley cities are upgrading," 25 June 2018 The firm often represents corporations, hedge funds or law firms, providing a sort of public-records forensics that resembles journalism. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "Fusion GPS Founder Hauled From the Shadows for the Russia Election Investigation," 8 Jan. 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

Latin forensis public, forensic, from forum forum

Noun

see forensic entry 1

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Statistics for forensic

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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

: relating to the use of scientific knowledge or methods in solving crimes

: relating to, used in, or suitable to a court of law

forensic

adjective
fo·​ren·​sic | \fə-ˈren(t)-sik, -ˈren-zik \

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 \

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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