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 In court papers, government lawyers said there is probable cause to believe that Ahn committed the offenses and the U.S. is obligated to surrender fugitives under the circumstances defined in its extradition treaty with Spain. Rich Schapiro, NBC News, 10 May 2022 In an application in support of the search warrant, an FBI agent wrote that there was probable cause to believe that Kerimov had owned the Amadea since 2021. Eric Tucker, ajc, 5 May 2022 Assistant Attorney General Chris Kessel argued, under Michigan law, a judge has the authority to deny a preliminary examination if the judge believes there is a probable cause that a crime was committed. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 4 May 2022 In November, a special grand jury concluded there was no probable cause to charge the officer who shot Lynch. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 26 Apr. 2022 After hearing Jordan’s testimony, Shelby County Circuit Judge Bill Bostick ruled there was enough probable cause to send the case against Scott to a grand jury for indictment consideration. Carol Robinson |, al, 21 Apr. 2022 Police took a statement from McKenzie, stated there was probable cause for a charge of battery, then turned the evidence over to the state attorney’s office, which ultimately opted not to pursue a case. New York Times, 23 Mar. 2022 When asked for comment, the Cocoa Police Department referred to their original report finding probable cause to make the arrest. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 25 Apr. 2022 First Amendment right of freedom of the press and of unlawfully detaining Dundon without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. oregonlive, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of probable cause

circa 1676, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for probable cause

Time Traveler

The first known use of probable cause was circa 1676

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Dictionary Entries Near probable cause


probable cause

probable error

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Statistics for probable cause

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Probable cause.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for probable cause

probable cause

Legal Definition of probable cause

— see cause sense 2


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