probable cause


Definition of probable cause

: a reasonable ground for supposing that a charge is well-founded

Examples of probable cause in a Sentence

The lawyer argued that there was a lack of probable cause for a search warrant. The police had probable cause to arrest him.

Recent Examples on the Web

Whelan said at the hearing that an objective observer would find that there was sufficient probable cause to open the investigation, regardless of the Clinton fundraiser. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Judge rules against Rep. Duncan Hunter on motion to remove prosecutors in criminal case over alleged bias," 8 July 2019 None of the discrimination complaints were validated by MCAD, instead, they were dismissed for lack of probable cause, brought by the complainants to civil court, or abandoned by the complainant. Emily Sweeney,, "‘I was black, I was nobody, and I worked for security’: Guards at the MFA speak out," 29 June 2019 If an officer has probable cause to think someone has abused a spouse, partner or family member, then the officer must make an arrest. Ramona Sentinel, "Crime Prevention Corner: Domestic abuse comes in many forms," 26 June 2019 On March 26, a Jefferson Parish court judge ruled there was probable cause to continue to hold Leonard in jail without bond for the murders. Olivia Prentzel,, "Jefferson Parish DA to seek death penalty for man accused of Terrytown quadruple murder," 20 June 2019 The International Association for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, in 2015 classified the product’s active ingredient, glyphosate, as a probable cause of human cancer. Bob Egelko,, "Judge partly grants request to move some trials over Monsanto herbicide," 18 June 2019 The court will first conduct a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough probable cause to continue with the felony charges in the case. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Judge recuses herself from case of younger STEM School shooting suspect," 14 June 2019 In a statement of probable cause from Grand Rapids police, investigators suspected James of the teen’s murder as soon as her body was identified due to the pending rape case. Britni Danielle,, "Mujey Dumbuya Was Killed Before Testifying Against Her Accused Rapist. Now He's Being Charged With Her Murder.," 12 Apr. 2018 Judge Jason Rucker found probable cause to move the case against Nash to circuit court. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, "Good Samaritan killed in Arlington last year was ‘beaten to death,’ medical examiner testifies," 24 June 2019

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

circa 1676, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for probable cause

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for probable cause

The first known use of probable cause was circa 1676

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More Definitions for probable cause

probable cause


English Language Learners Definition of probable cause

chiefly US, law : evidence that gives someone a reason to think that a crime has been or is being committed

probable cause

Legal Definition of probable cause

see cause sense 2

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with probable cause

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