a. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions: "This is not actually a volume of the best short stories ... These are just the stories that I like best, and I am full of prejudice and strong opinions" (Ann Patchett).
b. An adverse judgment or opinion formed unfairly or without knowledge of the facts: a boy with a prejudice against unfamiliar foods.
2. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular social group, such as a race or the adherents of a religion.
a. Detriment or harm caused to a person, especially in a legal case: The delay operated to her prejudice.
b. Preclusionary effect, preventing further pursuit of one's interests: The case was dismissed with prejudice.
tr.v. prej·u·diced, prej·u·dic·ing, prej·u·dic·es
1. To fill with prejudice or cause to judge with prejudice. See Synonyms at bias.
2. To affect detrimentally or harmfully by a judgment or act.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin praeiūdicium : prae-, pre- + iūdicium, judgment (from iūdex, iūdic-, judge; see deik- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 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.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus