grand jury

noun
a jury, at common law, of 12 to 23 persons, designated to inquire into alleged violations of the law in order to ascertain whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant trial.

Origin:
1490–1500; < Anglo-French graund juree

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Collins
World English Dictionary
grand jury
 
n
law Compare petit jury (esp in the US and, now rarely, in Canada) a jury of between 12 and 23 persons summoned to inquire into accusations of crime and ascertain whether the evidence is adequate to found an indictment. Abolished in Britain in 1948

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

grand jury definition


A jury that decides whether the evidence warrants bringing an accused person to trial. Once indicted (see indictment) by a grand jury, a person must stand trial.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The investigation had lasted only a few weeks and was never put before a grand
  jury-or reported in the newspapers.
She is being held without bail while prosecutors prepare to bring her case
  before a grand jury.
No, not unless you want to be indicted by a grand jury or involved in a large
  civil lawsuit.
Earlier, to a grand jury, he reportedly said that upon seeing the incident he
  left the building and called his father.
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