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 jurisprudence (audio) \ adjective
jurisprudentially \ ˌju̇r-​əs-​prü-​ˈden(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce jurisprudence (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 This should be one of the most exciting times for free speech jurisprudence and rules. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "On Social Media, American-Style Free Speech Is Dead," 27 Apr. 2021 Thomas was also in the majority in one of the most consequential corporate speech cases in modern American jurisprudence, Citizens United v. FEC, which affirmed and protected a First Amendment right to corporate political speech. David French, Time, "A Surprising Opinion From Justice Thomas May Signal an Ominous Shift on Free Speech," 9 Apr. 2021 Princeton professor of jurisprudence Robert George runs the school’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. James Freeman, WSJ, "And The Nominees for Best Civilization Are...," 25 Mar. 2021 Barrett represents more than simply the latest link in the chain of custody for originalist jurisprudence that extends from her mentor, and one of originalism’s founding fathers, former Justice Antonin Scalia, to the present day. Peter Hammond Schwartz, The New Republic, "Originalism Is Dead. Long Live Catholic Natural Law.," 3 Feb. 2021 The Essential Scalia offers a succinct overview of the justice’s jurisprudence in his own words. William H. Pryor Jr., National Review, "Antonin Scalia’s Literary Excellence and Legacy of Originalism," 17 Sep. 2020 But so far no one has figured out a way to restore the essential element of jurisprudence — speedy, criminal jury trials. Edmund H. Mahony, courant.com, "Fear of COVID-19 infection among prospective jurors upends efforts to begin the state’s first, post-pandemic trial," 23 Nov. 2020 But because these are the first vaccines approved for the general population under an EUA, there is no jurisprudence on this, and some uncertainty. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Scientific American, "It's Time to Consider Vaccine Mandates in High-Risk Settings," 28 Jan. 2021 Originalism and textualism have been championed by conservatives as methods to rein in liberal jurisprudence that reads constitutional rights expansively. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "What Trump Pick Amy Coney Barrett Could Mean for Future of the Supreme Court," 26 Sep. 2020

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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The first known use of jurisprudence was in 1654

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Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Jurisprudence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jurisprudence. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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 jurisprudence (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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