What does jurisdiction mean?

Definitions for jurisdiction
ˌdʒʊər ɪsˈdɪk ʃənju·ris·dic·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word jurisdiction.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. legal power, jurisdictionnoun

    (law) the right and power to interpret and apply the law

    "courts having jurisdiction in this district"

  2. jurisdictionnoun

    in law; the territory within which power can be exercised


  1. jurisdictionnoun

    the power, right, or authority to interpret and apply the law

  2. jurisdictionnoun

    the power or right to exercise authority

  3. jurisdictionnoun

    the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate

  4. jurisdictionnoun

    the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised


  1. Jurisdiction

    Jurisdiction (from Latin juris 'law' + dictio 'declaration') is the legal term for the legal authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels. Jurisdiction draws its substance from international law, conflict of laws, constitutional law, and the powers of the executive and legislative branches of government to allocate resources to best serve the needs of society.


  1. jurisdiction

    Jurisdiction refers to the authority, power, or control a government or legal body has over a specific geographic area or subject matter. It determines the legal boundaries and scope within which a governing body can enforce laws, make decisions, and resolve disputes. Jurisdiction often entails the ability to regulate and adjudicate matters within its defined limits, including the ability to enforce laws, decide on legal disputes, and impose sanctions or penalties.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Jurisdictionadjective

    the legal power, right, or authority of a particular court to hear and determine causes, to try criminals, or to execute justice; judicial authority over a cause or class of causes; as, certain suits or actions, or the cognizance of certain crimes, are within the jurisdiction of a particular court, that is, within the limits of its authority or commission

  2. Jurisdictionadjective

    the authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate; the right of making or enforcing laws; the power or right of exercising authority

  3. Jurisdictionadjective

    sphere of authority; the limits within which any particular power may be exercised, or within which a government or a court has authority

  4. Etymology: [L. jurisdictio; jus, juris, right, law + dictio a saying, speaking: cf. OF. jurisdiction, F. juridiction. See Just, a., and Diction.]


  1. Jurisdiction

    Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility. The term is also used to denote the geographical area or subject-matter to which such authority applies. Jurisdiction draws its substance from public international law, conflict of laws, constitutional law and the powers of the executive and legislative branches of government to allocate resources to best serve the needs of its native society.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Jurisdiction

    jōō-ris-dik′shun, n. the distribution of justice: legal authority: extent of power: district over which any authority extends.—adjs. Jurisdic′tional, Jurisdic′tive. [Fr.,—L. jurisdictio.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. jurisdiction

    Right, power, or authority which magistrates or courts have to administer justice.--Within jurisdiction of civil powers, as regards naval matters, is within a line drawn from headland to headland in sight of each other, and forming part of the same county. The admiralty jurisdiction is confined to three miles from the coast in civil matters, but exists wherever the flag flies at sea in criminal.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. jurisdiction

    Legal authority; extent of power. All sutlers and retainers to the camp, and all persons whatsoever serving with the armies of the United States in the field, though not enlisted soldiers, are to be subject to orders, according to the rules and discipline of war. To decide exactly where the boundary-line runs between civil and military jurisdiction as to the civilians attached to an army is difficult; but it is quite evident that they are within military jurisdiction, as provided for in the Articles of War, when their treachery, defection, or insubordination might endanger or embarrass the army to which they belong in its operations against what is known in military phrase as “an enemy.” Probably the fact that troops are found in a region of country chiefly inhabited by Indians, and remote from the exercise of civil authority, may enter into the description of “an army in the field.” Persons who attach themselves to an army going upon an expedition against hostile Indians may be understood as agreeing that they will submit themselves for the time being to military control. All officers, conductors, gunners, matrosses, drivers, or other persons whatsoever receiving pay or hire in the service of the artillery or corps of engineers of the United States, shall be subject to be tried by courts-martial. The officers and soldiers of any troops, whether militia or others, being mustered and in pay of the United States, shall, at all times and in all places, when joined, or acting in conjunction with the regular forces of the United States, be governed by the Rules and Articles of War, and shall be subject to be tried by courts-martial in like manner with the officers and soldiers in the regular forces; save only that such courts-martial shall be composed entirely of militia officers. No officer, non-commissioned officer, soldier, or follower of the army shall be tried the second time for the same offense. No person shall be liable to be tried and punished by a general court-martial for any offense which shall appear to have been committed more than two years before the issuing of the order for such trial, unless the person by reason of having absented himself, or some other manifest impediment, shall not have been amenable to justice within that period. No garrison or regimental court-martial shall have the power to try capital cases, or commissioned officers; neither shall they inflict a fine exceeding one month’s pay, nor imprison, nor put to hard labor any non-commissioned officer or soldier, for a longer time than one month.

Editors Contribution

  1. jurisdiction

    Having the official authority, power or right to govern and apply legislation fairly, justly with a sense of ethics and morality.

    It is within their jurisdiction to provide a service to the people.

    Submitted by MaryC on December 27, 2019  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'jurisdiction' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4597

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'jurisdiction' in Nouns Frequency: #1761

How to pronounce jurisdiction?

How to say jurisdiction in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of jurisdiction in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of jurisdiction in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of jurisdiction in a Sentence

  1. Jonathan Thompson:

    Every jurisdiction is different, a very remote jurisdiction with very low crime, very low drug abuse, they probably need help for the Saturday rodeo. It just depends. Trying to apply a one-sized fits all approach is a mistaken undertaking.

  2. Thursday Trump company:

    While laws vary substantially from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

  3. Kendall Coffey:

    ...Violence toward a U.S. citizen - like those who have been cruelly murdered by ISIS – could potentially provide jurisdiction for U.S. prosecution. If individuals can be identified who knowingly made oil purchases funding the terrorist agenda of ISIS, those individuals might be considered for very serious federal crimes, even though there could be complicated issues of arrest and extradition.

  4. Dustin Lewis:

    The ICC may exercise jurisdiction only over individual humans ; The ICC has no jurisdiction over states such as Ukraine and Russia, the ICC operates on the basis that The ICC may prosecute anyone who is responsible for committing a crime falling within the jurisdiction of the court, irrespective of whether the person is a national of a state party to the court. Under that approach, The ICC may institute proceedings against a Russian or a Ukrainian national for a crime falling within the court’s jurisdiction allegedly committed on the territory of Ukraine during the current armed conflict.

  5. Steve King:

    If the Constitution required them to be citizens, anyone born on the United States, it would just say all persons born in the United States are American citizens, but the clause, 'and subject to the jurisdiction thereof', is the subject of a significant amount of legal scholarship ... Someone who comes in here illegally are not fully subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, they're not subject to being drafted, for example, so you can change it statutorily.

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Translations for jurisdiction

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"jurisdiction." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 21 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/jurisdiction>.

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    boldly resisting authority or an opposing force
    • A. epidemic
    • B. contiguous
    • C. contagious
    • D. defiant

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