Definition of judgment
1a : the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing careful judgment of the oddsb : an opinion or estimate so formed is not worth doing in my judgment
3a : a formal utterance of an authoritative opinionb : an opinion so pronounced
4a : a formal decision given by a courtb (1) : an obligation (such as a debt) created by the decree of a court (2) : a certificate evidencing such a decree
5a capitalized : the final judging of humankind by God sinners awaiting Judgmentb : a divine sentence or decision; specifically : a calamity held to be sent by God believed their bad luck to be a judgment upon them
6 : a proposition stating something believed or asserted
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Examples of judgment in a Sentence
We have to make a judgment about the value of their services.
The judgment of the editors is final.
Don't rush to judgment without examining the evidence.
“Were his policies good or bad?” “I'll have to reserve judgment on that. It's too soon to know.”
Use your own best judgment.
The court granted a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs.
the judgment of the court
I won a judgment against the bank.
Recent Examples of judgment from the Web
Wilson wrote multiple letters to the Department of Education demanding proof that Morel had taken out the loans – and an explanation of how the wage garnishments were allowed without a court judgment.
Testimony in the 2006 trial indicated that this had not been an isolated incident for Agbareia and Hissy: In his judgment, Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Butler Jr. ordered Agbareia to pay $90,899 to 54 victims throughout the country.
The birthday party was hosted just weeks after the mother of five was ordered to pay $220,000 to City National Bank in a default judgment.
For years as a Kentucky judge, Tim Nolan sat in judgment of others.
The Brown and Goldman families won a wrongful death civil judgment against him in 1997.
The court ruled in his favor last month, handing down judgments on both loans — one for $293,513.36, and another for $81,888.26.
Her immaculate faith in her judgment and inviolability were a reproach to him.
There's still a need for human judgment—especially in jobs that mix unpredictability and sharp tools.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'judgment'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Judgment can also be spelled "judgement," and usage experts have long disagreed over which spelling is the preferred one. Henry Fowler asserted, "The OED [Oxford English Dictionary] prefers the older and more reasonable spelling. 'Judgement' is therefore here recommended." William Safire held an opposite opinion, writing, "My judgment is that Fowler is not to be followed." "Judgement" is in fact the older spelling, but it dropped from favor and for centuries "judgment" was the only spelling to appear in dictionaries. That changed when the OED (Fowler's source) was published showing "judgement" as an equal variant. Today, "judgment" is more popular in the U.S., whereas both spellings make a good showing in Britain.
Synonym Discussion of judgment
Financial Definition of JUDGMENT
What It Is
A judgment is a court order to pay someone else a sum of money or other remedy.
How It Works
Let's say John Doe owns a pit bull he hasn't trained very well. One day, John's dog jumps the fence and mauls Jane Smith's dog, Fifi. Jane rushes Fifi to the vet and incurs $2,000 in vet bills.
Jane sues John Doe for $3,000 to compensate for the vet bills and pain and suffering. The judge agrees and orders John to pay the $3,000. This order is a judgment against John, and it is usually a matter of public record. If John does not pay the judgment, Jane can ask the court for remedy, which might include the court placing a lien on his assets, garnishing his wages or other actions.
There are different kinds of judgments. A default judgment, for example, occurs in favor of the plaintiff when the defendant fails to appear in court to defend himself or does not respond to a summons. A deficiency judgment occurs when the sale of a seized piece of property does not generate enough cash to pay the judgment and the court has to place a lien on more property.
Why It Matters
Judgments are reported to credit agencies and generally stay on a person's credit report as a negative item for seven years. Judgments aren't always monetary, though. A judge could order John to build a higher fence on his property, for example, or take the dog away.
JUDGMENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of judgment for English Language Learners
: an opinion or decision that is based on careful thought
: the act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought : the act of judging something or someone
: the ability to make good decisions about what should be done
JUDGMENT Defined for Kids
Definition of judgment for Students
1 : a decision or opinion (as of a court) given after careful consideration
2 : an opinion or estimate formed by examining and comparing This one's the best in my judgment.
3 : the ability for reaching a decision after careful consideration I trust your judgment.
Legal Definition of judgment
1a : a formal decision or determination on a matter or case by a court; especially : final judgment in this entry — compare dictum, disposition, finding, holding, opinion, ruling, verdict Editor's note: Under Rule 54 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure judgment encompasses a decree and any order from which an appeal lies. cognovit judgment \käg-ˈnō-vit-\ : an acknowledgment by a debtor of the existence of a debt with agreement that an adverse judgment may be entered without notice or a hearing : confession of judgment consent judgment : a judgment approved and entered by a court by consent of the parties upon agreement or stipulation : consent decree at decree declaratory judgment : a judgment declaring a right or establishing the legal status or interpretation of a law or instrument a declaratory judgment that the law is unconstitutional — compare damage 2, injunction , specific performance at performance default judgment : a judgment entered by a court after an entry of default against a party for failure to appear, to file a pleading, or to take other required procedural steps —called also judgment by default — compare decree pro confesso at decree deficiency judgment : a judgment in favor of a creditor for the balance of a debt that is not satisfied in full by the security; especially : such a judgment following a mortgage foreclosure final judgment : a judgment that leaves nothing further to be done on a matter except execution in personam judgment : personal judgment in this entry in rem judgment : judgment in rem in this entryjudgment as a matter of law : a judgment rendered against a party on an issue at any time before the case is submitted to the jury on the ground that there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find for the party on that issue judgment by default : default judgment in this entry judgment in personam plural judgments in personam : personal judgment in this entry judgment in rem \-in-ˈrem\ plural judgments in rem : a judgment affecting the status of a particular thing (as an item of property) or subject matter : a judgment rendered by a court exercising in rem jurisdiction — compare personal judgment in this entry judgment nisi plural judgments nisi : a judgment that is not final or absolute after default and judgment nisi requiring them to show cause why it should not be made final — Code of Alabama judgment non obstante veredicto \-ˈnän-əb-ˈstan-tē-ˌver-ə-ˈdik-tō, -ˈnȯn-ȯb-ˈstän-tā-ˌvā-rā-ˈdēk-tō\ plural judgments non obstante veredicto non obstante veredicto, from Medieval Latin, notwithstanding the verdict : judgment notwithstanding the verdict in this entry judgment notwithstanding the verdict : a judgment that may be granted upon a motion by a defendant whose motion for a directed verdict was denied and that sets aside the jury's verdict in favor of a judgment in accordance with the motion for directed verdict —called also judgment non obstante veredictoEditor's note: Judgment notwithstanding the verdict has been replaced by judgment as a matter of law in federal practice. judgment of acquittal : a judgment that is rendered upon motion of the defendant or the court's own motion at the close of the evidence and that acquits the defendant of one or more of the offenses charged when the evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction —called also directed verdict, directed verdict of acquittal judgment on the merits : a judgment made after consideration of the substantive as distinguished from procedural issues in a case judgment on the pleadings : summary judgment in this entry money judgment : a judgment directing the payment of a sum of money nihil–dicit judgment : a judgment entered against a defendant who has failed to make an effective answer (as because the answer is withdrawn or does not respond to the merits of the plaintiff's case) —called also nil dicit judgment personal judgment : a judgment determining the rights and liabilities of a particular person : a judgment rendered by a court exercising personal jurisdiction over a person — compare judgment in rem in this entry summary judgment : judgment that may be granted upon a party's motion when the pleadings, discovery, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the party is entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law Editor's note: Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment may be granted on all or on just part of a case. b : an obligation (as a debt) created by a decree of a court collection of…automobile judgments from uninsured motorists — Harvard Law Review; also : an official document embodying such a decision or decree c : a declaration by a court of the conviction of a criminal defendant and the punishment to be imposed; specifically : sentence
2 : the action of judging : the mental or intellectual process of forming an opinion or making a decision; also : an opinion or decision so formed business judgment : a decision by a person or body (as a board of directors) having authority to act on behalf of a business and usually marked by reasonableness and the exercise of due care; also : the ability to make such decisions substituted judgment : a decision regarding medical treatment made by a person (as a family member) on behalf of a person who is incompetent and unable to decide for himself or herself
Seen and Heard
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