Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for February 20, 2020 is:

judgment • JUJ-munt  • noun

1 a : the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing

b : an opinion or estimate so formed

2 a : the capacity for judging : discernment

b : the exercise of this capacity

3 a : a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion

b : an opinion so pronounced

4 : a formal decision given by a court

5 : a divine sentence or decision


Theresa showed good judgment by clearing her family out of the house as soon as she smelled gas.

“The March hotel-tax increase and a $900 million housing bond proposal on the November ballot await judgment from voters.” — Michael Smolens, The San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Jan. 2020

Did you know?

Judgment can also be spelled judgement, and usage experts have long disagreed over which spelling is the preferred one. Henry Fowler asserted that “the OED [Oxford English Dictionary] prefers the older & more reasonable spelling. Judgement is therefore here recommended….” William Safire held an opposite opinion, writing, “My judgment is that Fowler is not to be followed on his spelling of judgement.” Judgement is in fact the older spelling, but it dropped from favor and for centuries judgment was the only spelling to appear in dictionaries. That changed when the OED (Fowler’s source) was published showing judgement as an equal variant. Today, judgment is more popular in the U.S., whereas both spellings make a good showing in Britain.

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