ver·​dict ˈvər-(ˌ)dikt How to pronounce verdict (audio)
: the finding or decision of a jury on the matter submitted to it in trial

Example Sentences

The verdict was not guilty. The jury reached a guilty verdict. Do you want my verdict on the meal? The critic's verdict about the show was positive.
Recent Examples on the Web However, an email from her attorneys, included in the filing, claims Holmes booked the ticket ahead of her verdict to attend a friend's wedding, per CNN. Sabrina Talbert, Women's Health, 23 Jan. 2023 But now, on this Wednesday, the recollection of her mother’s verdict did not arouse any acute feeling in Rosalie. Yiyun Li, The New Yorker, 16 Jan. 2023 The federal government’s appeal of the Sutherland Springs verdict comes after months of mediation attempting to alter the court’s judgment, the Justice Department said. Elizabeth Findell, WSJ, 10 Jan. 2023 According to Associated Press, the rapper, real name Daystar Peterson, reportedly showed no visible reaction to the reading of the verdict in the courtroom. Rivea Ruff, Essence, 23 Dec. 2022 As word of a verdict rippled through the hallways, observers lined up outside the courtroom. Dallas News, 20 Dec. 2022 Since then, Heard had been fighting an appeal of the verdict. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 19 Dec. 2022 The theft of trade secrets verdict was vacated in January by the 11th Circuit. William Thornton |, al, 14 Dec. 2022 The final moments will position victim impact statements at the forefront as survivors learn of the final verdict against their abuser. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 14 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English verdit, verdict, borrowed from Anglo-French veirdit "announcement, finding, judicial decision," from veir "true" (going back to Latin vērus) + dit "statement, judgment" (going back to Latin dictum), after Medieval Latin vērumdictum, vēredictum — more at very entry 2, dictum

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of verdict was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near verdict

Cite this Entry

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

Kids Definition


ver·​dict ˈvər-(ˌ)dikt How to pronounce verdict (audio)
: the decision reached by a jury
: an opinion held or expressed : judgment

Middle English verdit, verdict "a decision by a jury," derived from early French veir "true" and dit "saying, formal pronouncement"; veir from Latin verus "true" and dit from Latin dictum "formal pronouncement," derived from dicere "to say" — related to dictate, verify, very

Legal Definition


ver·​dict ˈvər-dikt How to pronounce verdict (audio)
: the usually unanimous finding or decision of a jury on one or more matters (as counts of an indictment or complaint) submitted to it in trial that ordinarily in civil actions is for the plaintiff or for the defendant and in criminal actions is guilty or not guilty compare judgment sense 1a
compromise verdict
: a verdict produced not by sincere unanimous agreement on guilt or liability but by an improper surrender of individual convictions
specifically : an impermissible verdict by a jury that is unable to agree on liability and so compromises on an award of damages that is less than what it should be if the plaintiff has a right of recovery free from any doubts
directed verdict
: a verdict granted by the court when the party with the burden of proof has failed to present sufficient evidence of a genuine issue of material fact that must be submitted to a jury for its resolution : judgment as a matter of law at judgment 1a the order of the court granting a motion for a directed verdict is effective without any assent of the juryMassachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 50(a) see also judgment notwithstanding the verdict at judgment sense 1a

Note: Under Rule 50 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, judgment as a matter of law has replaced directed verdict in federal practice.

: a verdict of acquittal ordered by the court on the ground that the evidence is not sufficient to support a conviction when viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution : judgment of acquittal at judgment 1a

Note: Under Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the term judgment of acquittal has replaced directed verdict in federal practice.

directed verdict of acquittal
: directed verdict in this entry
excessive verdict
: a verdict that awards damages grossly disproportionate to injury and shocks the court's sense of justice and that may be remedied by a lessening of damages or a new trial see also remittitur
general verdict
: a verdict that is either for the plaintiff or for the defendant and is often returned with answers to interrogatories on questions of fact where there exists a conflict between the general verdict and the interrogatories, the trial court may determine that the answers to the interrogatories prevailBerk v. Matthews, 559 N.E.2d 1301 (1990) see also interrogatory, special interrogatory compare special verdict in this entry
instructed verdict
: directed verdict in this entry
partial verdict
: a verdict in which a jury does not find all of the defendants in a trial to be guilty
a : a verdict that finds a defendant guilty on some counts and not guilty on others
b : a verdict in which a jury is unable to reach or has not yet reached agreement on all of the offenses under consideration

Note: The acceptance of partial verdicts before a jury is finished with deliberations may interfere with the deliberative process; having a jury achieve unanimity on a higher charge first discourages compromise verdicts on lesser included offenses. In some jurisdictions it has been considered proper to afford the jury the opportunity to render a partial verdict of acquittal on a higher charge to avoid declaring a mistrial because of a hopeless deadlock only on a lesser included offense; such a verdict would prevent double jeopardy on the higher charge.

quotient verdict \ ˈkwō-​shənt-​ \
: a usually impermissible verdict that is based on a numerical average of the amounts written down by jurors (as percentages of fault in a comparative negligence case)
specifically : a verdict that awards damages based on the average of the sums written down by the jurors under an agreement that all will be bound by the average figure
quotient verdicts are invalid and constitute grounds for a mistrial Faverty v. McDonald's Restaurants of Oregon, Inc., 892 P.2d 703 (1995)
repugnant verdict
: an impermissible verdict that contradicts itself since the defendant is convicted and acquitted of different crimes having identical elements in the same transaction used chiefly in New York
responsive verdict \ ri-​ˈspän-​siv-​ \
: a verdict that responds to the indictment and accords with statutorily prescribed findings for a particular charge that include guilty, not guilty, and guilty of a prescribed lesser included offense used in Louisiana

Note: A responsive verdict of guilty on a lesser included offense must be supported by the evidence.

special verdict
: a verdict that consists of specific findings of fact (as of liability) in response to interrogatories, that often includes determinations of damages, and that is used by the court in the formation of a judgment compare general verdict in this entry
: an amount awarded in a verdict
reduced the verdict

alteration (partly conformed to Medieval Latin veredictum) of Anglo-French veirdit statement, finding, verdict, from Old French veir true (from Latin verus) + dit saying, from Latin dictum

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