jurisprudence

noun
ju·​ris·​pru·​dence | \ˌju̇r-əs-ˈprü-dᵊn(t)s \

Definition of jurisprudence 

1 : the science or philosophy of law they have no theories of jurisprudence but … decide each case on its facts— R. H. Bork

2a : a system or body of law Roman jurisprudence labor jurisprudence

b : the course of court decisions as distinguished from legislation and doctrine a tendency that has become apparent in the jurisprudence of the American courts— Bernard Schwartz

3 : a department of law medical jurisprudence

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Other Words from jurisprudence

jurisprudential \ ˌju̇r-​əs-​prü-​ˈden(t)-​shəl \ adjective
jurisprudentially \ ˌju̇r-​əs-​prü-​ˈden(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Did You Know?

For a farewell to our jurisprudent, I wish unto him the gladsome light of jurisprudence. . . . With this valedictory to English jurist Sir Thomas Littleton, another jurist, Sir Edward Coke, welcomed two new words into English. In 1628, his jurisprudence meant "knowledge of or skill in law," a now archaic sense that reflects the literal meaning of the word. "Jurisprudence" goes back to Latin prudentia juris (literally "skill in law"), from which was derived the Late Latin formation jurisprudentia, and subsequently our word. The noun jurisprudent means "one skilled in law" - in other words, "a jurist." There's also "jurisprude," a 20th-century back- formation created from "jurisprudence" with influence from "prude." It means "one who makes ostentatious show of jurisprudential learning."

Examples of jurisprudence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Two hundred years or jurisprudence argue against believing a bare accusation. Fox News, "High school friend of Kavanaugh reacts to new allegation; Alan Dershowitz on Kavanaugh chaos," 28 Sep. 2018 American jurisprudence intersects with animals in a wide variety of situations. Elisa Orzac Shoenberger, BostonGlobe.com, "When a marriage ends, who gets the family pet?," 13 July 2018 As a bonus, Barrett is only 46 years old, which gives her an extended shelf life as a potential justice young enough to provide a long, happy career of right-wing jurisprudence. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Amy Coney Barrett Looks Like a Future Trump SCOTUS Pick," 11 July 2018 His 12-year record is one of consistent textualist and originalist jurisprudence. J.d. Vance, WSJ, "The Case for Brett Kavanaugh," 2 July 2018 The 1987 hearings revealed that while Bork embraced a jurisprudence of original meaning, Kennedy was open to invoking the kind of wide-ranging moral reasoning more often favored by judicial liberals. Jeffrey Rosen, WSJ, "What We Learn from Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings," 13 July 2018 Because the Court’s prior jurisprudence may hang in the balance, these areas should shape the Senate’s questioning during the confirmation hearings. Martha F. Davis, Fortune, "Why Brett Kavanaugh Is a Huge Threat to Minority Rights," 10 July 2018 Many of them admire the jurisprudence of Justice Clarence Thomas, who has called for the demolition of a series of bedrock constitutional doctrines from the last 70 years. latimes.com, "How Trump could do the least damage with his Supreme Court pick," 7 July 2018 So Sharia is the Islamic jurisprudence that is the laws that have evolved from 7th Century Islam. Fox News, "Dr. Zuhdi Jasser on terror threats facing the United States," 18 June 2018

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

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jurisprudence

see jurisprudent

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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The first known use of jurisprudence was in 1654

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More Definitions for jurisprudence

jurisprudence

noun

English Language Learners Definition of jurisprudence

: the study of law

jurisprudence

noun
ju·​ris·​pru·​dence | \ˌju̇r-əs-ˈprüd-ᵊns \

Legal Definition of jurisprudence 

1a : a system or body of law in the federal jurisprudence especially : a body of law dealing with a specific issue or area labor jurisprudence

b : the course of court decisions as distinguished from legislation and doctrine the jurisprudence decided under the source provisionsLouisiana Civil Code

2 : the science or philosophy of law they have no theories of jurisprudence but…decide each case on its facts— R. H. Bork

Other Words from jurisprudence

jurisprudential \ ˌju̇r-​əs-​prü-​ˈden-​chəl \ adjective

History and Etymology for jurisprudence

Late Latin jurisprudentia knowledge of or skill in law, from Latin juris, genitive of jus right, law + prudentia wisdom, proficiency

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