Definition of forensic in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime.

    ‘forensic evidence’
    • ‘Police cordoned off the area overnight and as dawn broke, forensic investigations began at the crime scene.’
    • ‘It was this third option that was most easy to test for, using modern forensic techniques.’
    • ‘Specialist police forensic investigators spent yesterday searching the flat for evidence.’
    • ‘There are various techniques available to the forensic investigator in this context.’
    • ‘Meanwhile forensic experts from the investigation team sealed off an address in the Cookridge area of the city.’
    • ‘The photograph was taken with a forensic technique using crossed polarised light of varying degrees.’
    • ‘The club remained cordoned off for most of Saturday while a forensic crime scene investigation was carried out.’
    • ‘The bank was closed until Monday as police completed their forensic investigation.’
    • ‘Looking at evidence before the court by a policeman and his evidence in the forensic report.’
    • ‘The latest scientific and forensic techniques are being applied to evidence in the case as part of a review.’
    • ‘Underground specialists helped the forensic teams in their investigation.’
    • ‘At the request of the defence, she asked the police to obtain a forensic test of some evidence.’
    • ‘Make sure to watch next week when we take an inside look at big city forensic crime solving.’
    • ‘The government has also vetoed further investigation into other forensic techniques.’
    • ‘Death investigation and forensic pathology are also not immune to misinterpretation.’
    • ‘Like all crime, police prefer to gather forensic evidence as soon as possible after an incident.’
    • ‘Scientists later recovered forensic evidence linking Scott to the balaclava.’
    • ‘Next week is Science Week, and we poke our legal noses into some forensic evidence.’
    • ‘Officers from the Essex Police scientific forensic unit carried out an in-depth search of the area.’
    • ‘Section 2 considers the role of forensic psychology in investigation and prosecution.’
    legal, judiciary, juridical, judicatory, forensic, jurisdictive
    View synonyms
  • 2Relating to courts of law.

    • ‘There was no significant forensic disadvantage to the appellant caused by delay.’
    • ‘There was no forensic advantage to the appellant by not having a warning in this case.’
    • ‘You show me where they found that forensic audit's misappropriation of funds.’
    • ‘There is just no content to which one may attach to give any forensic effect to this sentence.’
    • ‘Two other tools provide progressively deeper forensic and management capabilities.’


  • 1Scientific tests or techniques used in connection with the detection of crime.

    • ‘Fairstein's hands-on approach led her to become fascinated with forensics long before it was a staple of prime-time television drama.’
    • ‘Not only has delay hampered forensics, but another, less obvious advantage that police and prosecutors might once have exploited now also has been lost.’
    • ‘I mean, our show is essentially a crime show, where forensics enter into it and actually come to a conclusion about solving the case.’
    • ‘Computer forensics and electronic discovery have proven to be valuable tools for the business community and litigators.’
    • ‘It is the first time since the controversy that Hayes has expressed a willingness to allow modern forensics to test her innocence.’
    • ‘He's a former Connecticut state commissioner of public safety and professor of forensics at the University of New Haven.’
    • ‘In the last 20 years there's been a sea change in the criminal law because of forensics.’
    • ‘Garda bosses knew forensics could be the key to unlocking the investigation.’
    • ‘And one of the best ways of gathering criminal intelligence is forensics.’
    • ‘His report was filed on consent as an expert report in the area of computer forensics and data recovery.’
    • ‘Next to DNA testimony, the claims of old-time forensics didn't sound so scientific.’
    • ‘Semen contains some of the body's most durable DNA, and it's almost always left at the scene, changing the face of criminal forensics.’
    • ‘We need to develop new skills in detective work, firearms, training, forensics and intelligence gathering.’
    • ‘You don't have the forensics and you can't really investigate and prosecute these crimes using traditional methods.’
    • ‘The book detailed the advances in crime detection and forensics since the beginning of the century.’
    • ‘Donovan mostly talks about many of the world's most famous crimes and how they were solved using forensics.’
    • ‘Broadly defined, computer forensics is the practice of retrieving information from electronic devices.’
    • ‘I think that the rule had its time and had its place, but the difficulty with the rule in the real world now is that evidence and forensics are so much different than what they were.’
    • ‘DNA fingerprinting is used in forensics to examine DNA samples taken from a crime scene and compare them to those of a suspect.’
    • ‘There, they learn about forensics and crime, and next week, they're going to hold a trial with judges and lawyers and everything.’
    1. 1.1informal [treated as singular or plural]A laboratory or department responsible for forensic tests.
      • ‘Medical evidence from the doctors and forensics will be taken.’
      • ‘In Canada, forensic entomologists are developing other techniques, borrowing from human forensics.’
      • ‘He watched as his partner joked and laughed with the other detectives, then supervised as forensics gathered evidence.’
      • ‘She also analyses the anatomy of a car crash as she meets all the people - from forensics and the prosecution to counsellors - who are involved in picking up the pieces after a major accident.’
      • ‘It might have been an electrical fault, but the forensics are there investigating.’
      • ‘Meanwhile back at the crime scene police forensics were checking out the body and other police officials were securing the area.’
      • ‘It had taken several hours for traffic homicide and forensics to arrive from Gainesville.’
      • ‘Gardaí confirmed that the scene was examined by forensics and samples were forwarded to the Garda Technical Bureau for examination.’
      • ‘Garda forensics had not been able to match tissue samples from the remains with DNA taken from the relatives of the suspected deceased.’
      • ‘Two sets of prints belonging to the two men are clearly visible at the scene, which has been examined by Garda forensics.’
      • ‘Detective Martin stood in the room while forensics combed the rooms of the small home.’
      • ‘We better get forensics in here or Sergeant will have our heads for not checking everything.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin forensis in open court, public, from forum (see forum).