See more synonyms for judge on Thesaurus.com
  1. a public officer authorized to hear and decide cases in a court of law; a magistrate charged with the administration of justice.
  2. a person appointed to decide in any competition, contest, or matter at issue; authorized arbiter: the judges of a beauty contest.
  3. a person qualified to pass a critical judgment: a good judge of horses.
  4. an administrative head of Israel in the period between the death of Joshua and the accession to the throne by Saul.
  5. (especially in rural areas) a county official with supervisory duties, often employed part-time or on an honorary basis.
verb (used with object), judged, judg·ing.
  1. to pass legal judgment on; pass sentence on (a person): The court judged him guilty.
  2. to hear evidence or legal arguments in (a case) in order to pass judgment; adjudicate; try: The Supreme Court is judging that case.
  3. to form a judgment or opinion of; decide upon critically: You can't judge a book by its cover.
  4. to decide or settle authoritatively; adjudge: The censor judged the book obscene and forbade its sale.
  5. to infer, think, or hold as an opinion; conclude about or assess: He judged her to be correct.
  6. to make a careful guess about; estimate: We judged the distance to be about four miles.
  7. (of the ancient Hebrew judges) to govern.
verb (used without object), judged, judg·ing.
  1. to act as a judge; pass judgment: No one would judge between us.
  2. to form an opinion or estimate: I have heard the evidence and will judge accordingly.
  3. to make a mental judgment.

Origin of judge

1175–1225; (v.) Middle English jugen < Anglo-French juger, Old French jugier < Latin jūdicāre to judge, equivalent to jūdic- (stem of jūdex) a judge + -āre infinitive suffix; (noun) Middle English juge < Old French < Latin jūdicem, accusative of jūdex
Related formsjudge·a·ble, adjectivejudg·er, nounjudge·less, adjectivejudge·like, adjectivejudge·ship, nounjudg·ing·ly, adverbre·judge, verb, re·judged, re·judg·ing.sub·judge, nounsub·judge·ship, nounun·der·judge, verb (used with object), un·der·judged, un·der·judg·ing.un·der·judge, nounun·judge·a·ble, adjectiveun·judged, adjectiveun·judge·like, adjectiveun·judg·ing, adjectivewell-judged, adjective
Can be confusedjudge justice (see synonym study at the current entry)

Synonyms for judge

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. justice. 2. arbitrator. Judge, referee, umpire refer to one who is entrusted with decisions affecting others. Judge, in its legal and other uses, implies particularly that one has qualifications and authority for giving decisions in matters at issue: a judge appointed to the Supreme Court; a judge in the pie competition. A referee usually examines and reports on the merits of a case as an aid to a court. An umpire gives the final ruling when arbitrators of a case disagree. 3. connoisseur, critic. 10. determine, consider, regard. 13. adjudge, adjudicate.


  1. Alan L(aVern),born 1932, U.S. astronaut.
  2. RoyJudge, 1825?–1903, U.S. frontiersman and justice of the peace: called himself “the law west of the Pecos.”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for judge

Contemporary Examples of judge

Historical Examples of judge

British Dictionary definitions for judge


  1. a public official with authority to hear cases in a court of law and pronounce judgment upon themCompare magistrate (def. 1), justice (def. 5), justice (def. 6) Related adjective: judicial
  2. a person who is appointed to determine the result of contests or competitions
  3. a person qualified to comment criticallya good judge of antiques
  4. a leader of the peoples of Israel from Joshua's death to the accession of Saul
  1. to hear and decide upon (a case at law)
  2. (tr) to pass judgment on; sentence
  3. (when tr, may take a clause as object or an infinitive) to decide or deem (something) after inquiry or deliberation
  4. to determine the result of (a contest or competition)
  5. to appraise (something) critically
  6. (tr; takes a clause as object) to believe (something) to be the case; suspect
Derived Formsjudgeable, adjectivejudgeless, adjectivejudgelike, adjectivejudger, nounjudgingly, adverb

Word Origin for judge

C14: from Old French jugier, from Latin jūdicāre to pass judgment, from jūdex a judge


  1. any of various leguminous plants of the widely cultivated genus Phaseolus producing edible seeds in podsSee French bean, lima bean, scarlet runner, string bean
  2. any of several other leguminous plants that bear edible pods or seeds, such as the broad bean and soya bean
  3. any of various other plants whose seeds are produced in pods or podlike fruits
  4. the seed or pod of any of these plants
  5. any of various beanlike seeds, such as coffee
  6. US and Canadian slang another word for head
  7. cool beans slang excellent; impressive
  8. not have a bean slang to be without moneyI haven't got a bean
  9. full of beans informal
    1. full of energy and vitality
    2. USmistaken; erroneous
  10. spill the beans informal to disclose something confidential
  1. mainly US and Canadian slang (tr) to hit (a person) on the head

Word Origin for bean

Old English bēan; related to Old Norse baun, Old Frisian bāne, Old High German bōna bean
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

Word Origin and History for judge

c.1300, "to form an opinion about; make a decision," also "to try and pronounce sentence upon (someone) in a court," from Anglo-French juger, Old French jugier "to judge, pronounce judgment; pass an opinion on," from Latin iudicare "to judge, to examine officially; form an opinion upon; pronounce judgment," from iudicem (nominative iudex) "a judge," a compound of ius "right, law" (see just (adj.)) + root of dicere "to say" (see diction). Related: Judged; judging. From mid-14c. as "to regard, consider." The Old English word was deman (see doom). Spelling with -dg- emerged mid-15c.


mid-14c. (early 13c. as a surname), also judge-man; see judge (v.). In Hebrew history, it refers to a war leader vested with temporary power (e.g. Book of Judges), from Latin iudex being used to translate Hebrew shophet.



Old English bean "bean, pea, legume," from Proto-Germanic *bauno (cf. Old Norse baun, Middle Dutch bone, Dutch boon, Old High German bona, German Bohne), perhaps from a PIE reduplicated base *bha-bha- and related to Latin faba "bean."

As a metaphor for "something of small value" it is attested from c.1300. Meaning "head" is U.S. baseball slang c.1905 (in bean-ball "a pitch thrown at the head"); thus slang verb bean meaning "to hit on the head," attested from 1910.

The notion of lucky or magic beans in English folklore is from the exotic beans or large seeds that wash up occasionally in Cornwall and western Scotland, carried from the Caribbean or South America by the Gulf Stream. They were cherished, believed to ward off the evil eye and aid in childbirth.

Slang bean-counter "accountant" recorded by 1971. To not know beans (American English, 1933) is perhaps from the "of little worth" sense, but may have a connection to colloquial expression recorded around Somerset, to know how many beans make five "be a clever fellow."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with judge


In addition to the idiom beginning with judge

  • judge a book by its cover, one can't

also see:

  • sober as a judge

Also seejudgment.


see full of beans; not have a bean; not know beans; not worth a dime (bean); spill the beans; tough break (beans).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.