from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A law maxim founded on inveterate custom, or borrowed from the Roman law, and accounted part of the common law.
  • noun Hence An elementary principle or maxim; a short proverbial rule; a canon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An elementary principle or maximum; a short, proverbial rule, in law, ethics, or metaphysics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun law A legal principle usually expressed in Latin, traditionally used to concisely express a wider legal concept or rule.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French brocard, cognate with Medieval Latin brocarda, brocardicorum opus, a collection of canonical laws written by the bishop Burchard of Worms.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word brocard.


  • VINCENTEM, ERGO VINCO TE; upon which brocard of law the professor this morning lectured.


  • My father replied by that famous brocard with which he silences all unacceptable queries turning in the slightest degree upon the failings of our neighbours, — ‘If we mend our own faults, Alan, we shall all of us have enough to do, without sitting in judgement upon other folks.’


  • This is something like the brocard expressed by the learned Sanchez in his work


  • Equipped with this brocard our State courts working in co-operation with juries, whose attitude usually reflected the robustiousness of American political discussion before the Civil

    The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation Annotations of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States to June 30, 1952

  • It should not happen, and does not in really great writers; but it is tempting, and is to some extent excused by the brocard about _le premier pas_.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 From the Beginning to 1800

  • This is something like the brocard expressed by the learned Sanchez in his work De Jure-jurando, which you have questionless consulted upon this occasion.

    The Waverley

  • Father Xavier wore a cassock of black chainlet, and over it a surplice, with a stole of green velvet, garnished with a gold brocard.

    The Works of John Dryden

  • Pereyra ordered a coffin to be made of a precious wood, and after they had garnished it with rich China damask, they put the corpse into it, wrapping it in cloth of gold, with a pillow of brocard underneath the head.

    The Works of John Dryden

  • Notwithstanding the most magnificent were made at the charges of the ambassador, he had prepared cloth of gold, ornaments for an altar of brocard pictures of devotion, in rich frames, made by the best hands of Europe, with copes and other magnificent church-stuff, all proper to represent to the Chinese the majesty of the Christian religion.

    The Works of John Dryden

  • "_Societas mater discordiarum_, is a brocard as ancient and as veritable," said Oldbuck, who seemed determined, on this occasion, to be pleased with no proposal that was announced by the chair.

    The Betrothed


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • cui bono, you sensibly ask,

    When lawyers so muddle their task?

    When simpler folk heard

    A latin brocard

    They bowed to the learned man’s mask

    January 19, 2018