grand jury



a jury, at common law, of 12 to 23 persons, designated to inquire into alleged violations of the law in order to ascertain whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant trial.

Compare petty jury.

Origin of grand jury

First recorded in 1490–1500, grand jury is from the Anglo-French word graund juree Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grand jury

Contemporary Examples of grand jury

Historical Examples of grand jury

  • But, Gentlemen, it does not appear that he had his brother-in-law on that grand-jury.

  • But I suppose the judge did not succeed in getting his brother-in-law put on the grand-jury, and so the scheme fell through.

  • Boston had the right men to do any thing for the crown, but they did not contrive to get upon the grand-jury.

  • For though the grand-jury is "the country," the judge is not only all that, and more so; but is "the rest of mankind" besides.

  • Chief Justice Eyre, in addressing the grand-jury, referred to the act of Parliament as proof of a conspiracy.

British Dictionary definitions for grand jury

grand jury


law (esp in the US and, now rarely, in Canada) a jury of between 12 and 23 persons summoned to inquire into accusations of crime and ascertain whether the evidence is adequate to found an indictment. Abolished in Britain in 1948Compare petit jury
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

grand jury in Culture

grand jury

A jury that decides whether the evidence warrants bringing an accused person to trial. Once indicted (see indictment) by a grand jury, a person must stand trial.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.