Preponderance Law and Legal Definition

Preponderance in general terms means to be superior in number or weight. Preponderance as used in evidence law means having the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil lawsuit needed to convince the jury or judge without a jury to decide one's favor. Preponderance of the evidence is the level of proof required in a civil case, as opposed to the stricter "beyond a reasonable doubt," standard of proof required to convict in a criminal trial.

Preponderance of the evidence could be interpreted to mean a 51% chance that the evidence presented is to be believed. However, the actual application of the standard of proof is more subjective and not capable of numerical quantification.