supreme court


often capitalized S&C
: the highest judicial tribunal in a political unit (such as a nation or state)
: a court of original jurisdiction in New York state subordinate to a final court of appeals

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Some climate activists say the law is ultimately on their side, citing a 2021 ruling by the country’s supreme court that forced the government to step up its effort to cut emissions. Frank Jordans, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Jan. 2023 Amnesty International on Monday condemned the Iranian supreme court’s decision to uphold the death sentence of protester Mohammad Boroughani, who according to Iranian state media is accused of stabbing a security guard during a protest. Abbas Al Lawati, CNN, 4 Jan. 2023 Trump’s favor, in Pennsylvania, was later overturned by the state supreme court. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 4 Jan. 2023 The court also dismissed the case against the practice, but the patient appealed the decision, which eventually made its way to the state supreme court. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 24 Nov. 2022 Before the execution, Afghanistan's supreme court announced that public lashings of men and women for certain offenses, including robbery and adultery, had been carried out in several provinces recently. Harold Maass, The Week, 8 Dec. 2022 Justices and opposition lawyers nonetheless raised a catalog of issues with the ISL theory – echoing concerns filed in amicus briefs including one signed by the chief justice of every state supreme court in the country. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Dec. 2022 That case, not coincidentally, emerged from a state — Florida — where a Republican legislature was attempting to outmaneuver a state supreme court that was largely liberal. Ian Macdougall, ProPublica, 30 Nov. 2022 At the center of the litigation is North Carolina's congressional map, which the state's supreme court rejected as a unconstitutional gerrymander. Julius Lasin, USA TODAY, 7 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'supreme court.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of supreme court was in 1686

Dictionary Entries Near supreme court

Cite this Entry

“Supreme court.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

supreme court

: the highest court in a political unit (as the U.S. or one of its states)

Legal Definition

supreme court

su·​preme court
: the highest court in a nation or state
specifically, capitalized S&C : the highest court in the judicial branch of the U.S. government that has original jurisdiction over controversies involving ambassadors or other ministers or consuls but whose main activity is as the court of last resort exercising appellate jurisdiction over cases involving federal law
capitalized S&C : a court of original jurisdiction in New York

Note: The court of last resort in New York is the Court of Appeals.

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