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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



court n

[Old French, enclosed space, royal entourage, court of justice, from Latin cohort- cohors farmyard, armed force, retinue]
1 a : an official assembly for the administration of justice
: a unit of the judicial branch of government [the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior s as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish "U.S. Constitution art. III"] see also the Judicial System in the back matter
b : a session of such a court
c usu cap
: the Supreme Court of the United States
2 : a place (as a building, hall, or room) for the administration of justice [order in the ]
3 : a judge or judges acting in official capacity [an issue to be decided by the ] [the may neither preside at nor attend the meeting of creditors "J. H. Williamson"]
4 usu cap
: a legislative body [the General Court of Massachusetts]
5 : a body (as the International Court of Justice) exercising judicial powers over its members or the members of a body represented by it [an ecclesiastical ]

out of court
: without a court hearing
: by private arrangement [settled out of court]

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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