1. Law The right of a court to hear a particular case, based on the scope of its authority over the type of case and the parties to the case.
a. Authority or control: islands under US jurisdiction; a bureau with jurisdiction over Native American affairs.
b. The extent of authority or control: a family matter beyond the school's jurisdiction.
3. The territorial range of authority or control.
[Middle English jurisdiccioun, from Old French juridicion, from Latin iūrisdictiō, iūrisdictiōn- : iūris, genitive of iūs, law; see yewes- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + dictiō, dictiōn-, declaration (from dictus, past participle of dīcere, to say; see deik- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.