Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Adjudicate


The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is adjudicate. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

To adjudicate a dispute between parties is to make an official decision about which party is right. Adjudicate is also used to mean “to act as judge.”

// The case will be adjudicated in the state courts.

// The property title cannot be transferred until a case concerning the affected rights of way is adjudicated.


“The request sought to move the trial to another location or bring an outside jury to adjudicate it.” — Lydia Morrell, The Milwaukee (Wisconsin) Journal Sentinel, 20 June 2022

Did You Know?

Adjudicate, which is usually used to mean “to make an official decision about who is right in a dispute,” is one of several terms that give testimony to the influence of jus, the Latin word for “law,” on our legal language. Others include judgment, judicial, prejudice, jury, justice, injury, and perjury. What’s the verdict? Latin “law” words frequently preside in English-speaking courtrooms.

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