jurisprudence

noun
ju·​ris·​pru·​dence | \ ˌju̇r-əs-ˈprü-dᵊn(t)s How to pronounce jurisprudence (audio) \

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 How to pronounce jurisprudential (audio) \ adjective
jurisprudentially \ ˌju̇r-​əs-​prü-​ˈden(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce jurisprudentially (audio) \ 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

Due process is a crucial part of U.S. jurisprudence and basic fairness. Rick Scott, The Denver Post, "Rick Scott: I’m a gun owner and NRA member. I support red-flag laws to help stop mass shootings.," 9 Aug. 2019 Optimists may even glean some reassurance from the willingness of Iranian jurisprudence to deem women worth 100 camels in blood money. Bobby Ghosh, Twin Cities, "Bobby Ghosh: The most important thing Saudi Arabia and Iran could do for women," 8 Aug. 2019 Pause and marvel at the gall of conservative jurisprudence. E.j. Dionne Jr., The Mercury News, "Dionne: How the GOP may pave the way for ‘socialized medicine’," 11 July 2019 Seo’s idea is that the problem of policing cars, far from being a remote corner of the law, is central to how the jurisprudence of the Fourth Amendment (searches and seizures) took shape during the past hundred years. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?," 22 July 2019 Before 1990, the Warren Court [during which Earl Warren served as chief justice] had developed a jurisprudence of religious freedom that was quite protective of religious minorities. Christopher Shea, Vox, "Why Jeff Sessions thinks Christians are under siege in America," 1 Aug. 2018 Their conservative jurisprudence made them favorites of like-minded lawyers in the Federalist Society, and favorites for a spot on the Supreme Court the next time there was an opening and a Republican was president. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Gorsuch, Kavanaugh shift the Supreme Court, but their differences are striking," 30 June 2019 Traditionally, those who espouse the natural law theory of jurisprudence also espouse a natural law theory of morality, which argues that there exist objective moral laws that can be derived by analyzing the universal nature of human beings. Alexis Papazoglou, The New Republic, "The Sneaky Politics of “Natural Law”," 13 June 2019 His jurisprudence these days is more Jaffa and Barnett than Scalia and Bork, his foreign policy more Rand Paul than Marco Rubio. Matthew Continetti, National Review, "The Conservative Sensibility Is George Will’s Definitive Declaration," 20 June 2019

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

22 Aug 2019

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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

formal : the study of law

jurisprudence

noun
ju·​ris·​pru·​dence | \ ˌju̇r-əs-ˈprüd-ᵊns How to pronounce jurisprudence (audio) \

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 How to pronounce jurisprudential (audio) \ 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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