definition of judgmental

an original definition by J. E. Brown

Printed dictionaries don’t define the word (really!), and since I’m writing a book on relationships and rudeness, I decided to write my own definition, trying to account for the way most people use the word:

adj., pejorative

Said of a person who habitually forms or voices unkind, esp. moralistic opinions of others.
(Defined in terms of these Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary definitions: unkind, senses 1 & 2; moralistic, 1 & 2; habitual, 3 & 4.)

Related Concepts: {Read this comp1ete article at .}

2nd edition. 10 Jun 2007
1st edition. 22 Apr 2005

Further Reading at Other Sites

  • Merriam-Webster Online ( gives a definition, saying in part “2: characterized by a tendency to judge harshly.” I don’t think this goes far enough, as it unwittingly includes the judging of inanimate objects, and leaves out the emphasis on moral judgments. Still, the word “harshly” is right on.
    → Note: A few sources quote Webster’s 1913 (unabridged?) dictionary, whose definition is much better than the online one; also includes a beautiful, complete list of associated words.
  • says it better.
  • Gary E. Antion defines “judgmental” and insightfully adds “often specifically, judgments considered to be lacking in tolerance, compassion, objectivity, etc.”

These short quotes are included under the fair use doctrine.

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Brown’s Dictionary of Relationship Terms
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