prejudice

[prej-uh-dis]
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noun

an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding an ethnic, racial, social, or religious group.
such attitudes considered collectively: The war against prejudice is never-ending.
damage or injury; detriment: a law that operated to the prejudice of the majority.

verb (used with object), prej·u·diced, prej·u·dic·ing.

to affect with a prejudice, either favorable or unfavorable: His honesty and sincerity prejudiced us in his favor.

Nearby words

  1. preindustrial,
  2. preinform,
  3. preinvasive,
  4. prejudge,
  5. prejudging,
  6. prejudiced,
  7. prejudicial,
  8. prelacy,
  9. prelapsarian,
  10. prelate

Idioms

    without prejudice, Law. without dismissing, damaging, or otherwise affecting a legal interest or demand.

Origin of prejudice

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Latin praejūdicium prejudgment, orig. preliminary or previous judicial inquiry, equivalent to prae- pre- + jūdicium legal proceedings, judging (jūdic-, stem of jūdex judge + -ium -ium)

Related formsprej·u·diced·ly, adverbprej·u·dice·less, adjectivenon·prej·u·diced, adjectivequa·si-prej·u·diced, adjective

Can be confusedprejudiced prejudicial

Synonym study

2. See bias.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prejudice


British Dictionary definitions for prejudice

prejudice

noun

an opinion formed beforehand, esp an unfavourable one based on inadequate facts
the act or condition of holding such opinions
intolerance of or dislike for people of a specific race, religion, etc
disadvantage or injury resulting from prejudice
to the prejudice of to the detriment of
without prejudice law without dismissing or detracting from an existing right or claim

verb (tr)

to cause to be prejudiced
to disadvantage or injure by prejudice

Word Origin for prejudice

C13: from Old French préjudice, from Latin praejūdicium a preceding judgment, disadvantage, from prae before + jūdicium trial, sentence, from jūdex a judge

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 prejudice
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for prejudice

prejudice

A hostile opinion about some person or class of persons. Prejudice is socially learned and is usually grounded in misconception, misunderstanding, and inflexible generalizations. In particular, African-Americans have been victims of prejudice on a variety of social, economic, and political levels. (See civil rights movement and segregation.)

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.