1. an opinion that you have after thinking carefully about something
2. your ability to understand a situation well and make good decisions
3. a decision that is made by a judge in a court of law
4. something unpleasant that happens and is believed to be a punishment from God
Origin and usage
The word judgment, also spelled judgement, comes from the Old French word ‘jugement’ meaning ‘trial’ or ‘capacity for decision making’. It first appeared in Middle English sometime in the late 13th century as ‘juggement’ meaning ‘opinion’ or ‘penalty imposed by the court’.
The word judgment is a noun that can refer to a number of things, including a person’s opinion and ability to make decisions, as well as an official ruling handed down by a court or a punishment for bad actions.
Judgment can also refer to the way a person compares herself or himself to others, or how someone perceives another person based on certain superficial factors like the clothes someone wears or the car they drive.
We often make a judgment about a person shortly after meeting them — we use our instincts and personal preferences to decide whether or not we like that person and if we want to spend more time with them.
Social media has made it even easier to pass judgment on those we are connected to. We see posts and pictures shared by our friends and loved ones that make us compare our own lives, sometimes causing negative feelings like jealousy, envy and disappointment. On the other hand, seeing others post about their misfortunes can make us feel good about our own circumstances or happy we aren’t experiencing the same hardships.
“Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
opinion, view, verdict, punishment
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.