1. the right, power, or authority to administer justice by hearing and determining controversies.
  2. power; authority; control: He has jurisdiction over all American soldiers in the area.
  3. the extent or range of judicial, law enforcement, or other authority: This case comes under the jurisdiction of the local police.
  4. the territory over which authority is exercised: All islands to the northwest are his jurisdiction.


  1. the right or power to administer justice and to apply laws
  2. the exercise or extent of such right or power
  3. power or authority in general

early 14c. “administration of justice” (attested from mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French juridiccion (13c.) and directly from Latin iurisdictionem (nominative iurisdictio) “administration of justice, jurisdiction,” from ius (genitive iuris; see jurist) “right, law” + dictio “a saying” (see diction). Meaning “extent or range of administrative power” is from late 14c. Related: Jurisdictional.

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