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

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 And earlier, JoBeth Rickels, a forensic investigator with the Child Advocacy Center, was called to the stand. Bob Warren, NOLA.com, "Decade later, judge hears St. Tammany student rape suit," 21 May 2018 His body was taken to the Hamilton County Coroner's Office where forensic investigators will perform an autopsy to determine a cause of death. Cincinnati.com, "Autopsy expected after man dies during arrest," 6 Apr. 2018 Matt Kryger/IndyStar Robin Robson stood with her back to the home where hours before forensic investigators counted bullet holes. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "'I'm tired of the killing': Family, activists pray for peace, action following toddler's death," 29 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Although those files weren't found on Uber servers, computer forensics experts testified that the information could be stored practically anywhere. Tracey Lien, latimes.com, "Uber reaches settlement with Waymo in dispute over trade secrets," 10 Feb. 2018 Metzman supposes with abandon, goes in for a few red herrings, and doesn’t shy away from financial forensics. Beth Kephart, Philly.com, "Frances Metzman's 'Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Bay': The rules of dancing, life, and rocking thongs in a retirement village," 6 July 2018 Weintraub said the investigation involving the FBI and federal ATF agents is ongoing and more charges might be possible depending on whether forensics link the previous devices and explosions. Fox News, "Owner of chemical sales firm arrested in explosions probe," 28 June 2018 The new space will house instructional areas for physics, biology, chemistry, environmental science, anatomy and forensics labs. Janice Neumann, Daily Southtown, "Marist High School plans to turn monastery into science labs, planetarium," 27 June 2018 Police used surveillance footage from a neighbor across the street and forensics to arrest Ricafrente, Dailey said. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Woman faces hate crime charge for ripping bibles, setting fire at church," 14 June 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

19 Nov 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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