nisi prius


nisi pri·​us
-ˈprī-əs, -ˈprē-u̇s
: a court of record that tries an issue of fact before a jury and a single judge : trial court
also : the proceedings in such a court : the conducting of jury trials
long-distance travel eliminated the nisi prius practice of the justices W. J. Brennan, Jr.

Word History


Medieval Latin, unless before, the words introducing a clause in an English writ commanding a sheriff to provide a jury at the Court of Westminster on a certain day unless the judges of assize previously come to the county from which the jury is to be returned

Dictionary Entries Near nisi prius

Cite this Entry

“Nisi prius.” Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Feb. 2023.

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