jus soli


jus so·​li ˈyüs-ˈsō-ˌlē How to pronounce jus soli (audio)
: a rule that the citizenship of a child is determined by the place of its birth

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The right has rejected the idea of jus soli (birth citizenship) or giving citizenship to the children of immigrants born in Italy. Alexander Stille, The New Republic, 4 Oct. 2022 The American legal principle of jus soli means that babies born on US soil automatically gain citizenship. Paul Vercammen, CNN, 16 Dec. 2019 Sociologist John Skrentny theorized that jus soli is strongest in the Western Hemisphere because of the region’s colonial history. Amanda Erickson, The Seattle Times, 30 Oct. 2018 At least 30 countries subscribe to the principle of jus soli, wherein a person’s citizenship is based on the territory of his or her birth. Amanda Erickson, The Seattle Times, 30 Oct. 2018 This is the policy most often followed, though some countries adhere to the alternative concept of jus soli, or right of soil, which confers citizenship on a child according to the location in which they are born. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'jus soli.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Latin, right of the soil

First Known Use

1902, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of jus soli was in 1902

Dictionary Entries Near jus soli

Cite this Entry

“Jus soli.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jus%20soli. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Legal Definition

jus soli

jus so·​li -ˈsō-ˌlī, -lē How to pronounce jus soli (audio)
: a rule of law that a child's citizenship is determined by his or her place of birth

History and Etymology for jus soli

Latin, right of the soil

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