Whenever you have something to say on a topic, you have the opportunity to think about it or shut up. Film critics think of the best movies of the year, and kindergartners think they`d rather not nap. Opine can also describe what you think will happen, such as whether you think school meals will improve thanks to the new chef. The Latin opinari, or to have an opinion, is the root of opine. The verb opine is used when someone speaks and expresses an opinion. You might think that dogs are very preferable to cats. express an opinion, mid-15th century, from the Middle French opiner (15c.) and directly from the Latin opinari “to have an opinion, to be an opinion, to assume, to conjecture, to think, to judge”, perhaps related to optare “to desire, to choose” (see option). Related: Opined; opinion. n. an explanation of the judgment of a court.
When an appeal is brought against a court of first instance before a court of appeal, the opinion of the appellate judge is set out in detail, citing precedents, analysing the facts, the applicable law and the arguments of the parties` lawyers. Important opinions or legal questions deemed worthy by the court are published in official reports available in most law libraries. Since appellate courts have between three and nine judges, there are often “dissenting opinions” that disagree with the majority opinion and “concurring opinions” that agree with the result but apply different accents, precedents or logic in arriving at the decision. Normally, the majority opinion identifies the author, but some brief statements are described as “in banc” (from the judge`s bench) or “per curiam” (by the court), in which the author is not indicated. Opine has been around since the 15th century, and while it`s certainly not a rare word today, it wasn`t always taken seriously. Commentators have described it as a stilted word that is only appropriate in multifaceted usage – and indeed, it tends to appear in humorous writings. However, recent evidence suggests that it is more commonly used in quite respectable contexts. It is usually used to emphasize that the opinion reported is precisely that opinion. Opine is not a regression of opinions; both words derive independently from the Middle French opiner (“to express one`s opinion”) and the Latin opinari, meaning “to have an opinion” or “to think”. At FindLaw.com, we pride ourselves on being the leading source of free legal information and resources on the Internet.