Prejudice means preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. The word comes from the Latin "pre" (before) and "judge". People may prejudge any question, but the word is often used for an opinion about a person or group of people.
The word "prejudice" is often used when people dislike another group of people that are different from them. They may decide they do not like them because of their skin color (this is "racial prejudice"), religion (religious prejudice) or nationality. Such prejudices can lead to discrimination, hatred or even war.
Judges in a court of law should not be prejudiced when deciding whether someone is guilty. They should have an "open mind" so that they can make a fair decision. For example, if that person is the judge's friend then the judge would be prejudiced because he (or she) would not want his (or her) friend to get into trouble. In many other situations it is important not to be prejudiced, such as serving as an adjudicator in a competition or a juror in a trial.
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