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Sh. P Suresh (For To By Green Kindness Perpetuity Selfsustainability Always)     03 March 2016

What does "supra" mean? where is it used?

Have seen "Supra" in number of legal documents, but am not sure what it means & where it is used.


 2 Replies

SHIVEK J.   05 January 2021


Supra is a latin word meaning “above.” It refers a reader to an earlier part of a book. In legal briefs and decisions supra refers to the citation of a court decision which has been previously mentioned. For example, when a case is first cited it will be referred to as David v. United States, (1995) 242 U. S. 350, meaning it can be found in volume 242 of the United States Reports (of the Supreme Court) at page 350 and was decided in 1995. The next time the same case is cited in the very same document, it will be cited as David v. United States, supra.

It is more or less a practice to prevent repetition of data and ensure feasibility in reading legal documents.

Hope this helps.


Ananya Gosain   25 August 2021

The word Supra is used to represent a authority mentioned in the document previously. When an authority is initially mentioned in the document, it contains full details, but when the same authority is used again in the same document the details of it are substituted by the word 'supra'. Literal meaning of supra is above as stated in the previous answer to this query. 

Supra can also be used to provide a short form citation to an earlier  authority. For example:

  1. Mark J. Carolsse, Note, The Equitable Doctrine in United States v. Dalm : Where's the Equity, 10 Va. Tax Rev. 861 (1991).
  2. Carolsse, supra note 1, at 862. (862 here is the page number)


  • Legislative hearings
  • Court filings
  • Books, pamphlets, reports
  • Unpublished materials
  • Nonprint resources
  • Periodicals and services
  • Treaties and international agreements
  • Regulations, directives, and decisions of intergovernmental organizations
  • Internal cross-references

Visit for more detailed information on citation. 


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