Definition of judgment in English:


Syllabification: judg·ment
Pronunciation: /ˈjəjmənt
(also judgement)


  • 2A misfortune or calamity viewed as a divine punishment: the crash had been a judgment on the parents for wickedness
    More example sentences
    • In this modern perspective, the death penalty expresses not the divine judgment on objective evil but rather the collective anger of the group.
    • So, Sue asked the DUP councillor, could Katrina have been a divine judgement on born-again Christians?
    • His death is the divine judgment on me and my sins which he, the blessed Lamb of God, took instead of me.


against one's better judgment

Contrary to what one believes to be wise or sensible.
More example sentences
  • Despite this and against my better judgement, I said Lee could come round for a meal while I was out visiting my sister.
  • They are doing it against their better judgment.
  • I listened to the tape against my better judgment.
reluctantly, unwillingly, grudgingly

pass judgment

(Of a court or judge) give a decision concerning a defendant or legal matter: he passed judgment on the accused
More example sentences
  • Judicial review gained added importance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as courts passed judgment on laws regulating corporate behavior and working conditions.
  • It was thought that it would be improper and illogical to ask an appellate jury to pass judgment again on guilt or innocence (unless, on account of gross errors of law the Court of Appeal remits a case to the trial court for a new trial).
  • It should, however, be made clear that under Article 234 the ECJ does not pass judgment on the validity as such of a national law.
Criticize or condemn someone from a position of assumed moral superiority.
More example sentences
  • Though I have strong opinions on all of these, I am not passing judgement on American positions here.
  • We, as citizens, are not in a position to pass judgment on how people deal with such issues in their personal lives.
  • He added that the council was not in a position to pass judgment on the characteristics of the clientele who would use the proposed massage parlour.

reserve judgment

Delay the process of judging or giving one’s opinion.
More example sentences
  • ‘I was not happy with the judge reserving judgment,’ he said.
  • Judge Ibbotson reserved judgement on the case to consider the evidence.
  • South African observers praised ‘the tranquillity and the peacefulness’ of the weekend voting, but reserved judgment on whether the process had been free and fair.

sit in judgment

Assume the right to judge someone, especially in a critical manner.
More example sentences
  • Their description of the horrors they came across were reported to the judges who later sat in judgement on the leaders of the Reich and must have influenced them in some way.
  • They don't want judges from other countries sitting in judgement on their soldiers and politicians.
  • For example, pretty much everyone agrees that a judge should not sit in judgment in a case on appeal if he participated in the decision below.


Middle English: from Old French jugement, from juger 'to judge'.


In British English, the normal spelling in general contexts is judgement. However, the spelling judgment is conventional in legal contexts, and standard in North American English.

More definitions of judgment

Definition of judgment in: