Glossary S-Z


1. Authoritative approval or permission making a course of action valid.
2. Support or encouragement as from public opinion or established custom.
3. A consideration, influence, or principle dictating an ethical choice.
4. A law or decree.
5. The penalty for noncompliance specified in a law or decree.


The policy or practice of imposing the social separation of races, as in schools, housing, and employment.


An attitude of acceptance, approval, and respect toward oneself, manifested by personal recognition of one’s abilities and achievements and an acknowledgment and acceptance of one’s limitations.


1. An organized passive protest, especially against racial segregation, in which demonstrators occupy seats prohibited to them, as in restaurants and other public places.
2. Any organized protest in which a group of people peacefully occupy and refuse to leave a premises


1. The state of servitude as the property of a slaveholder or household.
2. A mode of production in which enslaved people constitute the principal work force.

Soviet Union (USSR)

Former northern Eurasian empire (1917/22–1991) stretching from the Baltic and Black seas to the Pacific Ocean and, in its final years, consisting of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics including Russia.


1. One who assumes responsibility for a person or group during instruction, apprenticeship, or probation.
2. One who vouches for the suitability of a candidate for admission.
3. A legislator who propose and argues adoption of a bill.

Status quo

The existing condition, state of affairs.


One as a person, group, event, or issue that is thought to typify or conform to an unvarying pattern or manner, lacking any individuality.


1. A mark or token of infamy, disgrace, or reproach.
2. A mark burned into the skin of a criminal or slave: brand.


A plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.


To declare or engage in a suspension of work against (a factory, employer, or industry) until certain demands are met.


A person who takes part in breaking up a strike of workers, either by working or by furnishing workers.


The act of surrendering to the power of another, meek compliance.


1. To put in a lower rank, belonging to a class or rank lower than another.
2. Subject to the control or authority of another.


1. Obsequious: servile.
2. Subordinate in function or capacity.


1. Higher in rank, station, or authority than others.
2. Affecting an attitude of disdain or conceit.


An expedient for achieving a goal: maneuver.


The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially, for political purposes.


Evidence furnished by a witness under oath or affirmation, either orally or in an affidavit or deposition


A judicial examination of issues of fact or law disputed by parties for the purpose of determining the rights of the parties.


Not in accord with the principles set forth in the constitution of a nation.


Characterized by or showing complete agreement.


An institution of learning of the highest level, having a college of liberal arts and a program of graduate studies together with several professional schools, such as theology, law, medicine, and engineering, and authorized to confer both undergraduate and graduate degrees.


1. Of, relating to, or constituting a city.
2. Characteristic of the city or city life.

U.S. Supreme Court

The highest court in the judicial branch of the U.S. government that has original jurisdiction over controversies involving ambassadors or other ministers or consuls, but whose main activity is as the court of last resort exercising appellate jurisdiction over cases involving federal law.

U.S. Federal District Court

The trial courts of the federal court system. There are 94 federal districts.


A breach, infringement, or transgression, as of a law, rule, or promise.


Relating to, supplying, or undergoing training in a special skill to be followed as a trade.


1. A labor strike.
2. The act of leaving or quitting a meeting, company, or organization especially as an indication of protest.

White Supremacy

The belief, theory, or doctrine that the white race is superior to all other races, especially the black race, and should therefore retain control in all relationships.


1. One who gives evidence regarding matters of fact under inquiry.
2. One who testifies or is legally qualified to testify in a case, or to give evidence before a judicial tribunal or similar inquiry.
3. To see or experience directly.

Writ of certiorari

A document from a superior to an inferior court calling for records of specific proceedings of the inferior court for review by the higher court.

et al.

An abbreviation of the Latin phrase et alia, meaning, “and others.”


Abbreviation for the Latin name of the academic degree, Doctor of Philosophy.


Versus, against.

Due Process

1. A course of formal proceedings, such as judicial proceedings, carried out regularly, fairly, and in accordance with established rules and principles (also called procedural due process).
2. A requirement that laws and regulations must be related to a legitimate government interest and may not contain provisions that result in the unfair or arbitrary treatment of an individual (also called substantive due process).

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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