The well-known solutions for the pressure distribution in the lubricating film of a hydrodynamic journal bearing, satisfying the Reynolds boundary conditions, show a sudden change in the pressure gradient at the position of maximum film thickness, which is possible only if the lubricant is supplied precisely at this location. Since the pressure develops smoothly because of hydrodynamic action, a correction in the boundary conditions is applied and a modified solution for the pressure distribution is obtained. The stiffness and damping characteristics of a finite hydrodynamic journal bearing using the new boundary conditions are compared with the wellknown characteristics incorporating the Reynolds boundary conditions. There is a significant change in the dynamic characteristics particularly at low values of the eccentricity ratio which can influence the characteristics of rotor-bearing systems. © 1986.