Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

judge - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     judge pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlejudging
past tensejudged
past participlejudged
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to form an opinion about something after considering all the details or facts
    judge someone/something on something:

    Universities are judged on their graduation rates.

    judge something by something:

    Judged by modern standards, this was a cruel thing to do.

    judge something from something:

    The firm’s success can be judged from its growing sales.

    judge someone/something (to be) something:

    The water was judged to be of good quality.

    judge it best/right/necessary etc.:

    Mary judged it best not to say anything.

    judge what/whether/when etc.:

    It’s difficult to judge what kind of impression we made.

    judge that:

    He judged that someone must have been in the house.

    judge for yourself (=form your own opinion):

    I love it, but come along and judge for yourself.

    1. a.
      to form an opinion about an amount, distance, size, etc. by guessing

      You may lose the ability to judge distance accurately.

      judge someone/something to be something:

      Tony judged him to be about 35.

      judge how far/long/wide etc.:

      It’s difficult to judge how long it will take.

      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to decide who or what is the winner of a competition
    judge someone/something on something:

    The paintings will be judged on imagination and technique.

    judge something (to be) something:

    In the end, Dad’s cake was judged the winner.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] to criticize someone because you think their moral behavior is not very good

    It’s difficult not to judge people sometimes.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to decide whether or not someone is guilty in a court of law
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play