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

In their new editorial, America's editors said they were still committed to finding a justice with Kavanaugh's textualist approach to jurisprudence that is suspicious of the kind of judicial innovation that led to the Roe decision. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Magazine of Jesuits urges withdrawal of Kavanaugh nomination," 28 Sep. 2018 Bork’s potential contribution to constitutional jurisprudence as a justice on the court is, sadly, lost to history. Mark Pulliam, WSJ, "Robert Bork’s Proud Legacy and the Senate’s Shameful One," 31 Aug. 2018 Generally, that’s going to be the case in terms of jurisprudence. Dara Lind, Vox, "John Roberts is mad at Trump for attacking an “Obama judge”," 21 Nov. 2018 Justice Antonin Scalia — arguably the most influential conservative mind in U.S. jurisprudence in modern history — had died just over a year prior. Nash Jenkins, Time, "Republicans Are Thrilled With the Supreme Court's Decision Upholding Trump's Travel Ban," 26 June 2018 Naturally, a good deal of Ms. De Hart’s narrative concerns Justice Ginsburg’s jurisprudence, with the author dissecting Supreme Court cases as wins and losses from her subject’s point of view. Bryan A. Garner, WSJ, "‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg’ Review: An Unlikely Celebrity," 21 Oct. 2018 Among the various police tactics of subjugation, by the 1970s, only the drug war toolkit survived challenges of civil rights jurisprudence and police professionalization. Kathleen Frydl, Vox, "Why we should abolish ICE — and the DEA too," 14 Aug. 2018 If he is confirmed to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, it is expected by Republicans and Democrats alike to shift the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence sharply to the right. Byron Tau, WSJ, "Kavanaugh Weathers Raucous Hearing," 7 Sep. 2018 How will President Trump’s replacement for Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court influence the Court’s jurisprudence? Kevin Cope, Washington Post, "Exactly how conservative are the judges on Trump’s short list for the Supreme Court? Take a look at this one chart.," 7 July 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

24 Jan 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

: 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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to settle judicially or to act as judge

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