Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Lower in rank; junior.
  • n. One of lesser rank than another, especially an associate judge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Inferior in rank. A puisne justice of a court is a judge other than the chief justice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Later in age, time, etc.; subsequent.
  • adj. Puny; petty; unskilled.
  • adj. Younger or inferior in rank; junior; associate
  • n. One who is younger, or of inferior rank; a junior; esp., a judge of inferior rank.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In law, younger or inferior in rank.
  • Later.
  • Same aspuny, 2.
  • n. A junior; an inferior; specifically, in law, a judge of inferior rank.

Etymologies

Old French puisne : puis, afterward (ultimately from Latin post; see apo- in Indo-European roots) + ne, born (from Latin nātus, past participle of nāscī, to be born; see genə- in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French puisné, now obsolete form of puîne, contraction of puis ("later") +  ("born"). Related to puny. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To him no doubt more than one puisne judge, suffragan bishop, member of parliament, or cabinet minister today owe their careers, and each and every one of their youthful peccadilloes went with Arthur to his grave, which, incidentally, is under a pretty gum tree on the southeast side of the Bulpadock.

    The Earth Goddess

  • Memoir by the Honorable Sir John Peter Grant, Kt. of the reasons which induced him to resign his commission of one of His Majesty's puisne justices of the Supreme Court of Judicature, Bombay by John Peter Grant

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: Judge won't inquire into CIA tapes case

  • Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Appeal; High Court (chief justice appointed by the president, puisne judges appointed on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission); magistrate's courts

    Malawi

  • MalawiSupreme Court of Appeal; High Court (chief justice appointed by the president, puisne judges appointed on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission); magistrate's courts

    Judicial branch

  • After being a supernumerary for twelve years, M. Popinot would no doubt die a puisne judge of the Court of the Seine.

    The Commission in Lunacy

  • Madras — her quarrel with Lady Smith, wife of Sir Minos Smith the puisne judge, is still remembered by some at Madras, when the

    Vanity Fair

  • All who had for five years filled the office of puisne judge.

    Representative Government

  • Judgments in the field of human rights, in particular by former and serving Zimbabwean chief justices, judges of appeal and puisne judges, were in many instances of international standing.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Striking magistrates are demanding the judiciary implements better conditions of service and higher salaries as done with puisne and supreme court judges.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Mr Justice Botha was appointed Judge-President of the Orange Free State Provincial Division twenty-two months after he had been appointed to the Bench, and at a time when he was junior to most of his colleagues on the Bench and to twenty-eight other puisne judges in the country.

    The Rise of the South African Reich - Chapter 8

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Comments

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  • Lady O'Dowd is one of the greatest ladies in the Presidency of Madras--her quarrel with Lady Smith, wife of Sir Minos Smith the puisne judge, is still remembered by some at Madras, when the Colonel's lady snapped her fingers in the Judge's lady's face and said she'd never walk behind ever a beggarly civilian.

    - Thackeray, Vanity Fair, ch. 43

    November 27, 2008