The Full Wiki

Black's Law Dictionary: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Black's Law Dictionary, 7th edition

Black's Law Dictionary is the most widely used law dictionary in the United States. It was founded by Henry Campbell Black. It is the reference of choice for definitions in legal briefs and court opinions and has been cited as a secondary legal authority in many U.S. Supreme Court cases.

The latest editions, including abridged and pocket versions, are useful starting points for the layman or student when faced with an unfamiliar legal word.



The first edition was published in 1891, and the second edition in 1910, long before the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was completed in 1928. The sixth and earlier editions of the book also provided case citations for the term cited, which some lawyers view as its most useful feature, providing a useful starting point with leading cases. The Internet made legal research easier than it ever had been, so many state- or circuit-specific case citations and outdated or overruled case citations were dropped from the seventh edition in 1999. The eighth edition introduced a unique system of perpetually updated case citations and cross-references to legal encyclopedias. The ninth edition was published in the summer of 2009.

Black's Law Dictionary has been used to create law dictionaries in other languages including Qānūnī, Angrezī-Urdu lug̲h̲at : Blaiks lāʼ dikshanarī se māk̲h̲ūz, published in Urdu in Islamabad by Muqtadirah-yi Qaumī Zabān in 1992, and Farhang-i ḥuqūqī-i Bahman : Ingilīsī-Fārsī : bar asās-i Black's law dictionary, published in Persian in Tehran by Ganj-i Dānish in 1999.

Because many legal terms are derived from a Latin root word, the Dictionary gives a pronunciation guide for such terms. In addition, the applicable entries provide pronunciation transcriptions pursuant to those found among North American practitioners of law or medicine.


An online version of the latest edition can be accessed through the paid Westlaw legal information service and as of late 2006, West Academic has published Black's Law Dictionary Digital, 8th edition (ISBN 9780314176103) which has toolbars that integrate with Microsoft Word, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. The second edition of Black's Law Dictionary (1910) is now in the public domain. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. has reprinted the first and second editions (ISBN 0-9630106-0-3 and ISBN 1-886363-10-2, respectively).

As of April 27, 2009 it is also available on the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.


  • Bryan A. Garner, editor, Black's Law Dictionary 9th ed. (West Group, 2009) ISBN 0-314-19949-7.
  • Bryan A. Garner, editor, Black's Law Dictionary 8th ed. (West Group, 2004) ISBN 0-314-15199-0.
  • Bryan A. Garner, editor, Black's Law Dictionary 7th ed. (West Group, 1999) ISBN 0-314-22864-0.
  • Black's Law Dictionary 6th ed. (West Publishing, 1990)
  • Black's Law Dictionary 5th ed. (West Publishing, 1979) ISBN 0-8299-2041-2.
  • Black's Law Dictionary, 4th ed. (St. Paul: West, 1951)
  • Black's Law dictionary, 3d ed. (West Publishing Co., 1933)
  • Bryan A. Garner, editor, Black's Law Dictionary 3d pocket ed. (West Group, 2006) ISBN 0-314-15862-6.
  • Bryan A. Garner, editor, Black's Law Dictionary 2d pocket ed. (West Group, 2001) ISBN 0-314-25791-8.
  • Black's Law Dictionary, 2d ed. (St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing, 1910) ISBN 1-886363-10-2 Public Domain (accessible for free through Google Book Search)
  • Black's Law dictionary, 1st ed. (St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing, 1891) ISBN 0-9630106-0-3

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address