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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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.