justice of the peace

noun phrase

: a local magistrate empowered chiefly to administer summary justice in minor cases, to commit for trial, and to administer oaths and perform marriages

Examples of justice of the peace in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each justice of the peace represents a district within the county of roughly equal population. Mike Jones, arkansasonline.com, 16 Nov. 2023 The Quorum Court is the legislative body of county government and its members are called justices of the peace. Mike Jones, arkansasonline.com, 16 Nov. 2023 The police recovered spent Lake City casings after a former justice of the peace killed a Texas district attorney and his wife. Ben Dooley Emily Rhyne, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2023 That consistency has been difficult to achieve, due in part to changes in leadership that occur when programs are implemented over several years, as well as the variety of initiatives and funds directed at improving access, according to the justice of the peace. Josh Snyder, Arkansas Online, 29 Oct. 2023 DeLeon said that the time of death is still unknown and that the Brazos County justice of the peace has ordered an autopsy. Natalie Kainz, NBC News, 16 Oct. 2023 The Quorum Court voted 10-3 in favor of the resolution, with justices of the peace David Wilson, Kyle Lyons and Lisa Ecke voting against it. Tom Sissom, Arkansas Online, 20 Oct. 2023 According to a local justice of the peace, a forensic pathologist ruled that Savannah died of probable positional asphyxia, which can happen when babies are slouched forward or arched backward, cutting off their airflow. Suzy Khimm, NBC News, 11 Oct. 2023 Lillie McMullen, justice of the peace for District 5, asked about how deputies could be deployed faster to service calls. Paige Eichkorn, Arkansas Online, 4 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'justice of the peace.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of justice of the peace was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near justice of the peace

Cite this Entry

“Justice of the peace.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justice%20of%20the%20peace. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

justice of the peace

: a local official having the authority to try minor cases, to administer oaths, and to perform marriages

Legal Definition

justice of the peace

: a local judicial official who is empowered chiefly to administer oaths, perform marriage ceremonies, certify documents, and in some states may have additional judicial powers (as to issue summonses)

More from Merriam-Webster on justice of the peace

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