A Word A Day : Judicious

Tuesday, 8th April 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : joo-dísh-ess


1. showing wisdom, good sense or discretion, often with the underlying objective of avoiding trouble or waste

2. possessing, proceeding from or exhibiting good judgment and prudence

3. an experience of great hardship or difficulty ( usually used in the plural )


Late 16th century - French judicieux - Latin judicium - legal proceedings


balanced, commonsensible, commonsensical, levelheaded, prudent, rational, reasonable, sagacious, sage, sane, sapient, sensible, sound, well-founded, well-grounded, wise, careful, shrewd, astute, cautious, thoughtful, just, discriminating


foolish, hasty, idiotic, ill-advised, injudicious, irrational, nonsensical, reckless, senseless, thoughtless, unwise

Contextual Examples:

• The judge was far from judicious. He told the jury that he thought the defendant looked guilty and said that anyone who would wear a red bow tie into a courtroom deserved to be sent to jail.

• The fire fighters made judicious use of flame-retardant foam as the burning airplane skidded along the runway.

• The mother of twin boys judiciously used an electron microscope and a laser to divide the ice cream into equal parts.

• So successful a watch and ward had been established over the young lady by this judicious parent that she had grown up highly ornamental, but perfectly helpless and useless.


The word judicial is obviously closely related, but there is a critically important difference in meaning between it and judicious. A judge is judicial simply by virtue of being a judge. Judicial means having to do with judges, judgment or justice. But a judge is judicious only if she exercises sound judgment.

Related Words:

judiciously : Adverb

judicial : Adjective

judiciousness : Noun

judiciary : Noun

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