res judicata


res ju·​di·​ca·​ta ˈrēz-ˌjü-di-ˈkä-tə How to pronounce res judicata (audio)
: a matter finally decided on its merits by a court having competent jurisdiction and not subject to litigation again between the same parties

Examples of res judicata in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If someone wants to find a document showing that a case has been adjudicated, or closed, the technology knows to look for documents with the Latin term res judicata (claim preclusion, or a matter decided). Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 27 Oct. 2020 So the doctrine of res judicata also barred the claims. Jack Greiner, The Enquirer, 13 Aug. 2020 Today, New York Court of Appeals Associate Judge Michael Garcia agreed that Paramount's claim is barred by res judicata, meaning a matter already judged. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Feb. 2018

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

Word History


Latin, judged matter

First Known Use

1693, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of res judicata was in 1693

Dictionary Entries Near res judicata

Cite this Entry

“Res judicata.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Legal Definition

res judicata

res ju·​di·​ca·​ta ˈrēz-ˌjü-di-ˈkä-tə, ˈrās-ˌyü- How to pronounce res judicata (audio)
: a thing, matter, or determination that is adjudged or final: as
: a claim, issue, or cause of action that is settled by a judgment conclusive as to the rights, questions, and facts involved in the dispute
: a judgment, decree, award, or other determination that is considered final and bars relitigation of the same matter
the trial court interpreted the earlier order as a dismissal with prejudice and thus res judicata as to the subsequent complaintSoutheast Mortg. Co. v. Sinclair, 632 So. 2d 677 (1994)
also : the barring effect of such a determination
: a principle or doctrine that generally bars relitigation or reconsideration of matters determined in adjudication
the doctrine of res judicata precludes the presentation of issues in a post-conviction petition which have previously been decided upon direct appealStowers v. State, 657 N.E.2d 194 (1995)
: as
: a broad doctrine in civil litigation that requires and includes the barring of relitigation of settled matters under merger, bar, collateral estoppel, and direct estoppel : former adjudication compare bar sense 3b, estoppel by judgment at estoppel sense 2a, merger sense 4
: a specific doctrine that precludes relitigation of claims and issues arising from the same cause of action between the same parties and their privies after a final judgment on the merits by a competent tribunal or after some other final determination having the same effect
res judicata precludes only subsequent suits on the same cause of action; collateral estoppel may preclude relitigation of issues in later suits on any cause of actionJ. H. Friedenthal et al.

called also claim preclusion

: an affirmative defense based on res judicata

Latin, judged matter

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