tri·​bu·​nal | \trī-ˈbyü-nᵊl, tri-\

Definition of tribunal 

1 : a court or forum of justice

2 : something that decides or determines the tribunal of public opinion

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Synonyms for tribunal


bar, bench, court, forum

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Examples of tribunal in a Sentence

An international tribunal was formed to deal with war crimes. was tried before a military tribunal and found not guilty of the charges

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2016, the Vatican committee scrapped a proposal that any senior cleric accused of covering up abuse be subject to an internal tribunal, angering victim advocates. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Scathing report reveals 300 Pennsylvania Catholic priests sexually abused over 1,000 children," 19 Oct. 2018 The ruling Thursday means that the competition court can now work through motions that ask the tribunal to reconsider its initial decision on the deal between Tianqi and Chile’s competition regulator. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Chilean Court Refuses Challenge to Chinese Firm’s Purchase of Stake in Lithium Miner," 25 Oct. 2018 In order to reach the next stage, beatification, the tribunal must show that at least one miracle has taken place as a result of prayers offered up to the individual after their death, or else that the individual died as a martyr for their faith. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Oscar Romero, a martyr for social justice and the newest Catholic saint, explained," 15 Oct. 2018 More important, some of the cases adjudicated by the tribunals are also getting bogged down in bitter, protracted legal challenges. Iain Marlow,, "India’s Push to Fast-Track Bankruptcies," 26 June 2018 Lawyers were quick to point out that SCOTUS did not rule that the baker's decision was constitutional, but did rule that the Colorado tribunal that previously ruled against the baker was not neutral but hostile to the claim. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Reaction to Supreme Court same-sex wedding cake verdict: 'Huge win for religious freedom'," 4 June 2018 He was indicted Thursday in the United States on charges of fraud and conspiracy, but Germany’s constitution forbids extradition of its citizens except to another European Union state or to an international tribunal., "Legal troubles continue for ex-Volkswagen CEO," 7 May 2018 Reuben Camper Cahn, executive director of Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc., called it separate but unequal and compared it to slavery tribunals. Elliot Spagat, Houston Chronicle, "California, long a holdout, adopts mass immigration hearings," 9 July 2018 Last week, seven of its 15 judges signed a letter declaring that the tribunal no longer functions properly, due to political pressure. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "Poland Steps Up Supreme Court Purge," 13 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for tribunal

Middle English, from Latin, platform for magistrates, from tribunus tribune

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Statistics for tribunal

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for tribunal

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

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English Language Learners Definition of tribunal

: a kind of court that has authority in a specific area


tri·​bu·​nal | \trī-ˈbyü-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of tribunal

: a court of justice


tri·​bu·​nal | \trī-ˈbyün-ᵊl, tri- \

Legal Definition of tribunal 

1 : the seat of a judge or one acting as a judge

2 : a court or forum of justice : a person or body of persons having to hear and decide disputes so as to bind the parties

History and Etymology for tribunal

Latin, platform for magistrates, from tribunus tribune, from tribus tribe

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Comments on tribunal

What made you want to look up tribunal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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