Site icon The Law Dictionary


Latin meaning literally “it is known from its associates.” A word whose meaning is uncertain, questionable or doubtful can be understood and defined by its association with surrounding words and its context. This concept is frequently used in canons of construction or interpreting and understanding the meaning of the words in a legal statute, ordinance or law.

Example of Noscitur A Sociis

A law required that explosives must be held within a “case or canister.” The matter before the court involved a defendant who used a bag made of cloth. By reading words that appear around the statute and from a discussion of the matter by legislature, it became clear that the intent of legislature was that the container for carrying should be at least as strong the canister. See Foster v Diphwys Casson (1887) 18 QBD 428.

Exit mobile version