Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day


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Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.


ex parte

February 3rd, 2015

Episode 96 of 689 episodes

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for February 03, 2015 is: ex parte \eks-PAR-tee\ adverb or adjective 1 : on or from one side or party only used of legal proceedings 2 : from a one-sided or partisan point of view Examples: "The record of the case was of vast length and full of technicalities, it was discussed ex parte by vehement propagandists on both sides." Frederick Lewis Allen, Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920's, 1931 "In the U.S., lawyers are forbidden to meet with a judge 'ex parte,' or outside the presence of opposing counsel." Patrick Radden Keefe, The New Yorker, January 9, 2012 Did you know? "Latin has not been over-used in a procedural context ('ex parte' being a rare exception)," wrote a correspondent to The London Times in May 1999. Indeed, ex parte (which literally meant "on behalf [of]" in Medieval Latin) pops up quite often in legal settings. Even when ex parte steps outside of the courtroomto be used of an ex parte meeting, interview, chat, conversation, investigation, discussion, or contact, for examplethe "one-sided" sense often has some sort of legal or legislative slant referring to involvement of just one party or side in a case or dispute.

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