Chief Justice | Definition of Chief Justice by Merriam-Webster

chief justice


Definition of chief justice

: the presiding or principal judge of a court of justice

Examples of chief justice in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The president’s position is that the chief justice, Arturo Zaldívar, needs to remain in the court’s presidency to implement changes that are likely to be challenged at the Supreme Court by opposition parties. Juan Montes, WSJ, "In Mexico, Worries Mount Over Political Interference in the Judiciary," 23 Apr. 2021 On the other side: The chief justice of the United States, John Roberts. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "President Trump has transformed the federal courts, but John Roberts still leads them," 1 July 2020 That the New Mexico officers fired bullets rather than wielding a mace at Ms. Torres made no legal difference, the chief justice wrote, and neither did her escape. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Widens Path for Suing Police," 25 Mar. 2021 Another possible contender seen for a court seat is Cheri Beasley, who lost her re-election as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court by 412 votes in November. New York Times, "How Democrats Are Already Maneuvering to Shape Biden’s First Supreme Court Pick," 21 Feb. 2021 Another possible contender seen for a court seat is Cheri Beasley, who lost reelection as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court by 412 votes in November. Jonathan Martin,, "Democrats already maneuvering to shape Biden’s first Supreme Court pick," 21 Feb. 2021 Abrahamson, who also served as chief justice for a record 19 years, died Saturday after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, her son Dan Abrahamson told the Journal Sentinel newspaper in Milwaukee. Scott Bauer,, "Shirley Abrahamson, first woman and longest-serving justice on Wisconsin Supreme Court, dies at 87," 20 Dec. 2020 All Minnesotans should support an amendment that puts children — and their education — first. Eric Magnuson was chief justice of Minnesota, 2008-10. Eric Magnuson, Star Tribune, "Minnesota schools must aim higher with the Page amendment," 14 Mar. 2021 The outcome was expected because, by tradition, the next longest-serving justice — Nahmias, in this case — becomes the new chief justice. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Nahmias to become Georgia’s next chief justice," 11 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chief justice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of chief justice

1534, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for chief justice

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The first known use of chief justice was in 1534

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chief justice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for chief justice

chief justice


English Language Learners Definition of chief justice

: the most important and powerful judge of a court of law and especially of the U.S. Supreme Court

chief justice


Legal Definition of chief justice

: a chief judge of a usually higher level court specifically, often capitalized : the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Other Words from chief justice

chief justiceship noun

More from Merriam-Webster on chief justice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for chief justice Encyclopedia article about chief justice

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