Definition of puisne in English:



  • (in the UK and some other countries) denoting a judge of a superior court inferior in rank to chief justices.

    • ‘I have to say that even if the dicta were obiter, the explanation advanced by the Home Department shows a refreshing courage that many a puisne puny judge, including myself, would lack.’
    • ‘As a puisne judge I am entitled to disagree with what my colleagues have said, although I would prefer to follow them if I can.’
    • ‘Another part of it is providing an expatriate puisne judge, and it is important for the justice system that judges of an appropriate standard are appointed there.’
    • ‘Application allowed with the costs reserved to court that hears appeal, to be heard by three judges one of whom can be a puisne judge to sit.’


Late 16th century (as a noun, denoting a junior or inferior person): from Old French, from puis (from Latin postea ‘afterwards’) + ne ‘born’ (from Latin natus). Compare with puny.