PREJUDICE (Lat. praejudicium), literally judgment or decision beforehand, which in classical usage meant a precedent, a preceding judgment, also a special form of judicial examination precedent to a trial, especially in matters relating to status. The transferred sense, of injury or damage inflicted by decisions or judgments disregarding interests affected, does not appear till post-classical times in Latin. This last use of damage appears in English in relation to legal matters, especially in the phrase " without prejudice," i.e. without detriment to rights or claims. When two parties are negotiating for the settlement of a dispute, statements or admissions made by or on behalf of either, with a stipulation, expressed or implied, that the statements are made " without prejudice " to the party's claims in the dispute, cannot be put in evidence in litigation to settle the dispute (see EVIDENCE). The general meaning of the word is that of opinion, Favourable or hostile, based on prepossessions, and therefore biassed or unreasonable.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)