jurisdiction

Jurisdiction means having a legal right over something. A court can have jurisdiction over a legal question, and a government can have jurisdiction over another country or territory. Even your parents could be said to have jurisdiction over you while you're under 18.

This noun jurisdiction descends from Latin jūrisdictiō, formed from jūris (from jūs "law") plus dictio, "the act of saying." Think of it as who has the right to "say" what "the law" is. In the U.S., certain crimes are tried in state courts, but when a crime involves more than one state, jurisdiction moves to the federal court system, just as the local police step down and the investigation is handled by the FBI.

Definitions of jurisdiction
  1. noun
    in law; the territory within which power can be exercised
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    types:
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    abbacy
    the jurisdiction or office of an abbot
    archbishopric
    the territorial jurisdiction of an archbishop
    archdeaconry
    the territorial jurisdiction of an archdeacon
    bailiwick
    the area over which a bailiff has jurisdiction
    caliphate
    the territorial jurisdiction of a caliph
    bishopric, diocese, episcopate
    the territorial jurisdiction of a bishop
    justiciary
    the jurisdiction of a justiciar
    turf
    range of jurisdiction or influence
    parish
    the local subdivision of a diocese committed to one pastor
    patriarchate
    the jurisdiction of a patriarch
    venue
    in law, the jurisdiction where a trial will be held
    viceroyalty
    a district or province governed by a viceroy
    archdiocese
    the diocese of an archbishop
    eparchy, exarchate
    a diocese of the Eastern Orthodox Church
    type of:
    district, dominion, territorial dominion, territory
    a region marked off for administrative or other purposes
  2. noun
    (law) the right and power to interpret and apply the law
    “courts having jurisdiction in this district”
    synonyms: legal power
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    type of:
    power, powerfulness
    possession of controlling influence
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