judgment call

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Alternative forms[edit]


judgment call (plural judgment calls)

  1. (sports) A ruling by an umpire, referee, or similar official during a sporting event, based on his or her perception of events and in the absence of any objective measurement.
    • 1983 September 26, J. D. Reed, “Can Anyone Win This Thing?”, in Time:
      The rookie outfielder was waved out before he reached the plate. The reason for the rare judgment call? According to Rule 7.09 (i), a coach cannot "assist" a runner.
  2. Any decision or other determination based on subjective criteria, especially one which takes into account the particular circumstances of a situation.
    • 2005, Jackie Wiggins, “Fostering Revision and Extension in Student Composing”, in Music Educators Journal, volume 91, number 3, page 37:
      This probably ought to be a judgment call made by individual teachers who know their students well.
  3. (Christianity) The summons which will call the spirits of the deceased to their heavenly reward at the time of Final Judgment.
    • 1894, Gilbert Parker, “Recognition,”, in A Lover's Diary:
      So stood I, by an atmosphere beguiled
      Of glad surprise, when first thy lips let fall
      The name I lightly carried when a child,
      That I shall rise to at the judgment call.


See also[edit]


  • "judgment call" in the Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.