prej·​u·​di·​cial | \ˌpre-jə-ˈdi-shəl \

Definition of prejudicial 

1 : tending to injure or impair : detrimental a transfer prejudicial to other creditors

2 : leading to premature judgment or unwarranted opinion prejudicial evidence

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Other Words from prejudicial

prejudicially \ˌpre-​jə-​ˈdi-​sh(ə-​)lē \ adverb
prejudicialness \ˌpre-​jə-​ˈdi-​shəl-​nəs \ noun

Examples of prejudicial in a Sentence

The judge ruled that the prejudicial effect of the evidence outweighed its value. pretrial publicity that may be extremely prejudicial to a defendant's right to a fair trial

Recent Examples on the Web

But psychological research suggests that Trump’s rhetoric also encourages people who already have prejudicial views to act on those views. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Donald Trump and the disturbing power of dehumanizing language," 14 Aug. 2018 Andreavich argued that the Facebook posts involved prior uncharged conduct, were unfairly prejudicial, and were irrelevant to the sale that prompted her arrest. Washington Post, "Court upholds conviction of medical marijuana activist," 20 June 2018 Henderson also claims the judge made improper rulings on evidence, allowing the jury to hear evidence that should have been inadmissible and that was unfairly prejudicial. Mike Cason,, "Former Jefferson County DA-elect seeks new trial on perjury," 7 Apr. 2018 James Ricketson, 69, looked frail as he was led into Phnom Penh Municipal Court to face the charge of collecting information prejudicial to national defense, for which he could be imprisoned for five to 10 years. Washington Post, "Start of Cambodian trial of Australian filmmaker delayed," 15 June 2018 Mesereau, who defended Michael Jackson on child molestation charges, fought to exclude other alleged victims, saying their testimony would be unfairly prejudicial. Laura King,, "Opening of Bill Cosby's sex assault retrial shapes up as another #MeToo moment, complete with topless protester," 10 Apr. 2018 The country’s contempt standards prohibit reporting — after charges have been filed and before a verdict has been reached — that might be seen as prejudicial against or for a defendant. Adam Baidawi And Damien Cave, New York Times, "Cardinal George Pell Confronts Charges of ‘Historical Sexual Offenses’," 3 Mar. 2018 But prejudicial thinking, as your case shows, is more pervasive. Steven P. Dinkin,, "The single mom and the unconscious bias," 1 July 2018 Despite their popularity, Ms. Wilder’s books contain jarringly prejudicial portrayals of Native Americans and African Americans. New York Times, "Prestigious Laura Ingalls Wilder Award Renamed Over Racial Insensitivity," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prejudicial.' 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 prejudicial

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

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The first known use of prejudicial was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of prejudicial

: showing an unfair feeling of dislike for a person or group because of race, sex, religion, etc. : showing prejudice

: causing or likely to cause injury or harm to someone or something


prej·​u·​di·​cial | \ˌpre-jə-ˈdi-shəl \

Legal Definition of prejudicial 

: having the effect of prejudice: as

a : tending to injure or impair rights such a transfer would be prejudicial to other creditors

b : leading to a decision or judgment on an improper basis the evidence was excluded because it was more prejudicial than probative

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