Note: Our Sixth Annual 15-Second Vocabulary Video Challenge is underway. It will run until Feb. 18.
adjudicate ə-ˈjü-di-ˌkāt verb
1. put on trial or hear a case and sit as the judge at the trial of
2. bring to an end; settle conclusively
The word adjudicate has appeared in 142 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Jan. 9 in “Mysterious Spike in Complaints About Street Signs Moves Council to Halt Violations” by Karen Zraick:
The New York City Council voted on Wednesday to institute a two-year moratorium on violations related to store signs and awnings after a mysterious spike in 311 complaints that led to costly penalties for small businesses.
…. Councilman Menchaca is also arguing for a permanent change in how the city adjudicates violations related to signs and awnings. In a statement, he said businesses should get a citation or warning, not a civil penalty, if a violation is found.