Legalese Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Legalese?

(n) Legalese is the person who was specialized in the subjects of law and legal procedures by virtue of his qualification, research, experience or services.

History and Meaning of Legalese

Legalese refers to the specialized language of legal professionals, often filled with complex vocabulary, obscure phrasing, and anachronisms. The term Legalese comes from the conjunction of two words: legal and the suffix -ese, which indicates a language. In short, Legalese means the language of the law. Legalese is used to draft legal documents such as contracts, wills, and laws, and it is essential to have a clear understanding of it to navigate the legal system effectively.

Examples of Legalese

  1. "Whereas, the party of the first part agrees to indemnify and hold the party of the second part harmless against any claims or liabilities arising from the performance of the services hereunder." (A clause from a contractual agreement)
  2. "The defendant is here accused of committing a felony and will be tried before a judge and jury." (An opening statement in a criminal case)
  3. "The text of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides immunity from liability for providers and users of an 'interactive computer service' who publish information provided by others." (A legal argument in a court case)

Legal Terms Similar to Legalese

  1. Legal jargon: Technical words and phrases commonly used in legal documents, known as legalese.
  2. Legislator: A person who makes laws, or works in the field of law-making.
  3. Statute: A written law passed by a legislative body, such as a state or federal government.