: an obligation (such as a debt) created by the decree of a court
: a certificate evidencing such a decree
capitalized: the final judging of humankind by God
sinners awaiting Judgment
: a divine sentence or decision
specifically: a calamity held to be sent by God
believed their bad luck to be a judgment upon them
: a proposition stating something believed or asserted
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 that "the OED [Oxford English Dictionary] prefers the older & 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 on his spelling of judgement." 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.
sense implies a reliable ability to judge and decide with soundness, prudence, and intelligence.
a choice showing good sense
common sense suggests an average degree of such ability without sophistication or special knowledge.
common sense tells me it's wrong
judgment implies sense tempered and refined by experience, training, and maturity.
they relied on her judgment for guidance
wisdom implies sense and judgment far above average.
a leader of rare wisdom
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. See More
Recent Examples on the WebIn November 2019, Fergie and Duhamel filed their judgment with the Los Angeles County court, along with details of their sentiment, according to The Blast and TMZ.—Diana Pearl, Peoplemag, 15 Sep. 2023 Against his better judgment, CJ decided to take his second pill early Friday morning, which ultimately took his life.—Dallas News, 13 Sep. 2023 In Ohio, people in focus groups felt strongly about being able to take care of their families without judgment or interference.—Emily Bazelon, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 On Sunday, speaking to the Yalta European Strategy conference via video link from Texas, Bush said his initial judgment has changed over the years.—Adela Suliman, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2023 Prosecutors are also seeking a financial judgment of $215,352, the amount Smith is charged with fraudulently earning.—Cassidy Jensen, Baltimore Sun, 8 Sep. 2023 The university typically filed for default judgment, which was granted if defendants didn’t respond within 30 days of being served.—Casey Tolan, CNN, 8 Sep. 2023 The average eviction judgment was $3,190 last month, about double the typical Valley monthly rent.—Catherine Reagor, The Arizona Republic, 7 Sep. 2023 That judgment, which stemmed from a dispute over a Moscow mall, has grown substantially with interest.—Laurence Darmiento, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'judgment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
: 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
: 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 entry
—judgment 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 absoluteafter 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 veredictonon 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 alsojudgment non obstante veredicto
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 alsodirected 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
: a judgment directing the payment of a sum of money
: 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 alsonil dicit 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
: 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
Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment may be granted on all or on just part of a case.
: 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
: a declaration by a court of the conviction of a criminal defendant and the punishment to be imposed