noscitur a sociis


noscitur a sociis
noun /nɒskiˈtuˑr ˌɑˑ ˌsɔkiːʔiˑs,ˌnəʊsɪtʊə ˈɑː ˌsəʊsiɪs/
A rule of language used by the courts to help interpret legislation, under which the questionable meaning of a doubtful word can be derived from its association with other words.

Foster v Diphwys Casson (1887) 18 QBD 428, involved a statute which stated that explosives taken into a mine must be in a "case or canister". Here the defendant used a cloth bag. The courts had to consider whether a cloth bag was within the definition. Under noscitur a sociis, it was held that the bag could not have been within the statutory definition, because parliaments intention was referring to a case or container of the same strength as a canister.


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  • noscitur a sociis — no·sci·tur a so·ci·is / nō si tər ˌā sō sē yəs, nō skē ˌtu̇r ˌä sō kē ˌēs/ n [Latin, it is known by its associates]: a doctrine or rule of construction: the meaning of an unclear or ambiguous word (as in a statute or contract) should be… …   Law dictionary

  • noscitur a sociis — /nosatar ey sowsiyas/ It is known from its associates. The meaning of a word is or may be known from the accompanying words. Under the doctrine of noscitur a sociis , the meaning of questionable or doubtful words or phrases in a statute may be… …   Black's law dictionary

  • noscitur a sociis — /nosatar ey sowsiyas/ It is known from its associates. The meaning of a word is or may be known from the accompanying words. Under the doctrine of noscitur a sociis , the meaning of questionable or doubtful words or phrases in a statute may be… …   Black's law dictionary

  • Noscitur a sociis — One is known by his companions. The maxim is applied to the familiar rule of construction that the meaning of a word or expression may be gathered from the surrounding words, that is, from the context. 50 Am J1st Stat § 247 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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