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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Jurisdiction \Ju`ris*dic"tion\, n. [L. jurisdictio; jus, juris, right, law + dictio a saying, speaking: cf. OF. jurisdiction, F. juridiction. See Just, a., and Diction.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Law) The legal power, right, or authority of a particular court to hear and determine causes, to try criminals, or to execute justice; judicial authority over a cause or class of causes; as, certain suits or actions, or the cognizance of certain crimes, are within the jurisdiction of a particular court, that is, within the limits of its authority or commission. [1913 Webster] 2. The authority of a sovereign power to govern or legislate; the right of making or enforcing laws; the power or right of exercising authority. [1913 Webster] To live exempt From Heaven's high jurisdiction. --Milton. [1913 Webster] You wrought to be a legate; by which power You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. Sphere of authority; the limits within which any particular power may be exercised, or within which a government or a court has authority. [1913 Webster] Note: Jurisdiction, in its most general sense, is the power to make, declare, or apply the law. When confined to the judiciary department, it is what we denominate the judicial power, the right of administering justice through the laws, by the means which the laws have provided for that purpose. Jurisdiction is limited to place or territory, to persons, or to particular subjects. --Duponceau. [1913 Webster]