jurisprudence

noun

ju·​ris·​pru·​dence ˌju̇r-əs-ˈprü-dᵊn(t)s How to pronounce jurisprudence (audio)
1
: the science or philosophy of law
they have no theories of jurisprudence but … decide each case on its facts R. H. Bork
2
a
: 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
jurisprudential adjective
jurisprudentially 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 meaning of the word's root. Jurisprudence goes back to Latin prudentia juris (literally "skill in law"), from which was derived the Late Latin formation jurisprudentia, and subsequently the English word. The noun jurisprudent means "one skilled in law"—in other words, a jurist. There's also jurisprude, a somewhat rare 20th-century back-formation created from jurisprudence with influence from prude. It means "one who makes ostentatious show of jurisprudential learning."

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web By retiring, Walters has ensured Brown will name a replacement who is likely to be aligned with Walters’ jurisprudence. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 20 Oct. 2022 Whether Jackson’s efforts to overcome conservative jurisprudence prove successful remains to be seen, but the knee-jerk reaction to her opening performance is an unfortunate illustration of the establishment left’s broken view of power. Jess Coleman, The New Republic, 7 Oct. 2022 If enacted, this would infringe the freedom of interstate travel and effectively gut the jurisprudence of federalism, which denies the legitimacy of extraterritorial criminal law. Damon Linker, The Week, 25 Mar. 2022 Voting rights advocates have understandably turned to state courts more than the federal courts because of the US Supreme Court's poor jurisprudence in this area. Joshua A. Douglas, CNN, 7 July 2022 In 2019, the Supreme Court used speech or debate jurisprudence when evaluating the constitutionality of House subpoenas seeking President Donald Trump’s financial records. Jennifer Selin, The Conversation, 13 May 2022 President Barack Obama would find little to fault about the jurisprudence of his choices for the court, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Apr. 2022 Ramirez was not asking for something new but something that has been part of jurisprudence throughout history, Kretzer said. Juan A. Lozano And Michael Graczyk, USA TODAY, 6 Oct. 2022 Ramirez was not asking for something new but something that has been part of jurisprudence throughout history, Kretzer said. Juan A. Lozano And Michael Graczyk, Chron, 6 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

see jurisprudent

First Known Use

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of jurisprudence was in 1654

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Dictionary Entries Near jurisprudence

Cite this Entry

“Jurisprudence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jurisprudence. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

jurisprudence

noun

ju·​ris·​pru·​dence ˌju̇r-ə-ˈsprüd-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce jurisprudence (audio)
1
: a system of laws
2
: the science of law
3
: a department of law
medical jurisprudence

Legal Definition

jurisprudence

noun

ju·​ris·​pru·​dence ˌju̇r-əs-ˈprüd-ᵊns How to pronounce jurisprudence (audio)
1
a
: 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 provisions Louisiana 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
jurisprudential 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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