Ergo Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Ergo, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Ergo?

(air-go)conj. Latin for “therefore,” often used in legal writings. Its most famous use was in Cogito, ergo sum: “I think, therefore I am” principle by French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650).

History and Meaning of Ergo

Ergo is a conjunction word that comes from Latin, meaning "therefore" or "consequently." In legal writings, especially in the past, it was a commonly used term to connect two statements that imply a cause-and-effect relationship.

The term has also been popularized in various philosophical works, most notably in the proposition of "Cogito, ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am") by the French philosopher Rene Descartes. The phrase is often used to express the idea that the very act of doubting one's existence proves that a person is, in fact, thinking and, therefore, exists.

Today, the term ergo is not as commonly used in everyday language, but it still has a place in formal and academic writing, as well as in legal and philosophical contexts.

Examples of Ergo

  1. The witness could not provide reliable testimony; ergo, the prosecutor dropped the charges against the defendant.
  2. The company exceeded its annual sales target; ergo, every employee received a generous bonus.
  3. The land had been zoned as a residential area for decades; ergo, the proposed construction of a factory was denied by the city council.

Legal Terms Similar to Ergo

  1. Therefore - another conjunction word that denotes a logical consequence or conclusion of a particular premise or condition.
  2. Hence - an adverb that means "as a result" or "from this moment," often used to connect two clauses or sentences.
  3. Res Judicata - a Latin term that means "a matter judged," referring to a legal principle that a final judgment on a case prevents the same parties from re-litigating the same issues.