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

Keep scrolling for more

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

But as a matter of law, gun jurisprudence has not been turned upside down, as Justice Stevens feared. Joseph Blocher And Eric Ruben, Vox, "The Second Amendment allows for more gun control than you think," 14 June 2018 Starting in the 1960s, the Supreme Court started developing a jurisprudence of one person, one vote. Jay Cost, National Review, "Chris Hayes and Progressives’ Lack of Respect for the Constitution," 3 Sep. 2019 Its library stocked books on everything from medicine to mathematics and Islamic jurisprudence, and the lectures boasted students from as far afield as Yemen and Syria. Peter Schwartzstein, Smithsonian, "What the Restoration of Iraq’s Oldest University Says About the Nation’s Future," 4 Sep. 2019 Raich is a classic example of the drug-war distortion of American constitutional jurisprudence. David French, National Review, "Universal Background Checks Are Constitutionally Suspect," 12 Aug. 2019 This Supreme Court vacancy will give Donald Trump the power to shift jurisprudence on a range of critical issues. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "America under Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of jurisprudence

1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for jurisprudence

see jurisprudent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about jurisprudence

Listen to Our Podcast about jurisprudence

Statistics for jurisprudence

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for jurisprudence

The first known use of jurisprudence was in 1654

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on jurisprudence

What made you want to look up jurisprudence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

transposition of initial sounds of words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!