mid-13c., jugement, "action of trying at law, trial," also "capacity for making decisions," from Old French jugement "legal judgment; diagnosis; the Last Judgment" (11c.), from jugier "to judge" (see judge (v.)).
From late 13c. as "penalty imposed by a court;" early 14c. as "any authoritative decision, verdict in a court case." From late 14c. in reference to the final trial of the human race in a future state (Judgment Day attested from late 14c.). Also from c. 1300 as "opinion." Sense of "discernment" is first recorded 1530s. By 1610s as "a divine allotment, event regarded as an expression of divine displeasure."
updated on February 16, 2016