Ejusdem generis

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ejusdem generis

(eh-youse-dem generous) adj. Latin for "of the same kind," used to interpret loosely written statutes. Where a law lists specific classes of persons or things and then refers to them in general, the general statements only apply to the same kind of persons or things specifically listed. Example: if a law refers to automobiles, trucks, tractors, motorcycles and other motor-powered vehicles, "vehicles" would not include airplanes, since the list was of land-based transportation.

EJUSDEM GENERIS. Of the same kind.
     2. In the construction of laws, wills and other instruments, when certain things are enumerated, and then a phrase is used which might be construed to include other things, it is generally confined to things ejusdem generas; as, where an act (9 Ann. C. 20) provided that a writ of quo warranto might issue against persons who should usurp "the offices of mayors, bailiffs, port reeves, and other offices, within the cities, towns, corporate boroughs, and places, within Great Britain," &c.; it was held that "other offices" meant offices ejusdem generis; and that the word "places" signified places of the same kind; that is, that the offices must be corporate offices, and the places must be corporate Places. 5 T. R. 375,379; 5 B. & C. 640; 8 D. & Ry. 393; 1 B. & C. 237.
     3. So, in the construction of wills, when certain articles are enumerated, the terra goods is to be restricted to those ejusdem generis. Bac. Ab. Legacies, B; 3 Rand. 191; 3 Atk. 61; Abr. Eq. 201; 2 Atk. 113.