jus gentium


jus gen·​ti·​um ˈyüs-ˈgen-tē-əm How to pronounce jus gentium (audio)

Word History


Latin, law of nations

First Known Use

circa 1549, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of jus gentium was circa 1549

Dictionary Entries Near jus gentium

Cite this Entry

“Jus gentium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jus%20gentium. Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Legal Definition

jus gentium

jus gen·​ti·​um -ˈjen-shē-əm, -chəm How to pronounce jus gentium (audio)
: a body of law recognized by nations that is binding and governs their relations with each other : international law

called also law of nations

Note: In Roman law jus gentium referred to the rules and laws that were common to the various nations or peoples under the Roman empire and were used in cases between non-Roman citizens or between a Roman and a non-Roman citizen.


Latin, literally, law of nations

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