Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Law \Law\, v. t. Same as Lawe, v. t. [Obs.]
Law \Law\, interj. [Cf. La.] An exclamation of mild surprise. [Archaic or Low]
Law \Law\ (l[add]), n. [OE. lawe, laghe, AS. lagu, from the root of E. lie: akin to OS. lag, Icel. l["o]g, Sw. lag, Dan. lov; cf. L. lex, E. legal. A law is that which is laid, set, or fixed; like statute, fr. L. statuere to make to stand. See Lie to be prostrate.]
In general, a rule of being or of conduct, established by an authority able to enforce its will; a controlling regulation; the mode or order according to which an agent or a power acts.
Note: A law may be universal or particular, written or unwritten, published or secret. From the nature of the highest laws a degree of permanency or stability is always implied; but the power which makes a law, or a superior power, may annul or change it.
These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the Lord made.
--Lev. xxvi. 46.
The law of thy God, and the law of the King.
--Ezra vii. 26.
As if they would confine the Interminable . . . Who made our laws to bind us, not himself.
His mind his kingdom, and his will his law.
In morals: The will of God as the rule for the disposition and conduct of all responsible beings toward him and toward each other; a rule of living, conformable to righteousness; the rule of action as obligatory on the conscience or moral nature.
The Jewish or Mosaic code, and that part of Scripture where it is written, in distinction from the gospel; hence, also, the Old Testament. Specifically: the first five books of the bible, called also Torah, Pentatech, or Law of Moses.
What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law . . . But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.
--Rom. iii. 19, 21.
In human government:
An organic rule, as a constitution or charter, establishing and defining the conditions of the existence of a state or other organized community.
Any edict, decree, order, ordinance, statute, resolution, judicial, decision, usage, etc., or recognized, and enforced, by the controlling authority.
In philosophy and physics: A rule of being, operation, or change, so certain and constant that it is conceived of as imposed by the will of God or by some controlling authority; as, the law of gravitation; the laws of motion; the law heredity; the laws of thought; the laws of cause and effect; law of self-preservation.
In mathematics: The rule according to which anything, as the change of value of a variable, or the value of the terms of a series, proceeds; mode or order of sequence.
In arts, works, games, etc.: The rules of construction, or of procedure, conforming to the conditions of success; a principle, maxim; or usage; as, the laws of poetry, of architecture, of courtesy, or of whist.
Collectively, the whole body of rules relating to one subject, or emanating from one source; -- including usually the writings pertaining to them, and judicial proceedings under them; as, divine law; English law; Roman law; the law of real property; insurance law.
Legal science; jurisprudence; the principles of equity; applied justice.
Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason.
Law is beneficence acting by rule.
And sovereign Law, that state's collected will O'er thrones and globes elate, Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.
--Sir W. Jones.
Trial by the laws of the land; judicial remedy; litigation; as, to go law.
When every case in law is right.
He found law dear and left it cheap.
An oath, as in the presence of a court. [Obs.] See Wager of law, under Wager. Avogadro's law (Chem.), a fundamental conception, according to which, under similar conditions of temperature and pressure, all gases and vapors contain in the same volume the same number of ultimate molecules; -- so named after Avogadro, an Italian scientist. Sometimes called Amp[`e]re's law. Bode's law (Astron.), an approximative empirical expression of the distances of the planets from the sun, as follows: -- Mer. Ven. Earth. Mars. Aste. Jup. Sat. Uran. Nep. 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 0 3 6 12 24 48 96 192 384 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --- --- 4 7 10 16 28 52 100 196 388 5.9 7.3 10 15.2 27.4 52 95.4 192 300 where each distance (line third) is the sum of 4 and a multiple of 3 by the series 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, etc., the true distances being given in the lower line. Boyle's law (Physics), an expression of the fact, that when an elastic fluid is subjected to compression, and kept at a constant temperature, the product of the pressure and volume is a constant quantity, i. e., the volume is inversely proportioned to the pressure; -- known also as Mariotte's law, and the law of Boyle and Mariotte. Brehon laws. See under Brehon. Canon law, the body of ecclesiastical law adopted in the Christian Church, certain portions of which (for example, the law of marriage as existing before the Council of Tent) were brought to America by the English colonists as part of the common law of the land. --Wharton. Civil law, a term used by writers to designate Roman law, with modifications thereof which have been made in the different countries into which that law has been introduced. The civil law, instead of the common law, prevails in the State of Louisiana. --Wharton. Commercial law. See Law merchant (below). Common law. See under Common. Criminal law, that branch of jurisprudence which relates to crimes. Ecclesiastical law. See under Ecclesiastical. Grimm's law (Philol.), a statement (propounded by the German philologist Jacob Grimm) of certain regular changes which the primitive Indo-European mute consonants, so-called (most plainly seen in Sanskrit and, with some changes, in Greek and Latin), have undergone in the Teutonic languages. Examples: Skr. bh[=a]t[.r], L. frater, E. brother, G. bruder; L. tres, E. three, G. drei, Skr. go, E. cow, G. kuh; Skr. dh[=a] to put, Gr. ti-qe`-nai, E. do, OHG, tuon, G. thun. See also lautverschiebung. Kepler's laws (Astron.), three important laws or expressions of the order of the planetary motions, discovered by John Kepler. They are these: (1) The orbit of a planet with respect to the sun is an ellipse, the sun being in one of the foci. (2) The areas swept over by a vector drawn from the sun to a planet are proportioned to the times of describing them. (3) The squares of the times of revolution of two planets are in the ratio of the cubes of their mean distances. Law binding, a plain style of leather binding, used for law books; -- called also law calf. Law book, a book containing, or treating of, laws. Law calf. See Law binding (above). Law day. (a) Formerly, a day of holding court, esp. a court-leet. (b) The day named in a mortgage for the payment of the money to secure which it was given. [U. S.] Law French, the dialect of Norman, which was used in judicial proceedings and law books in England from the days of William the Conqueror to the thirty-sixth year of Edward III. Law language, the language used in legal writings and forms. Law Latin. See under Latin. Law lords, peers in the British Parliament who have held high judicial office, or have been noted in the legal profession. Law merchant, or Commercial law, a system of rules by which trade and commerce are regulated; -- deduced from the custom of merchants, and regulated by judicial decisions, as also by enactments of legislatures. Law of Charles (Physics), the law that the volume of a given mass of gas increases or decreases, by a definite fraction of its value for a given rise or fall of temperature; -- sometimes less correctly styled Gay Lussac's law, or Dalton's law. Law of nations. See International law, under International. Law of nature. (a) A broad generalization expressive of the constant action, or effect, of natural conditions; as, death is a law of nature; self-defense is a law of nature. See Law, 4. (b) A term denoting the standard, or system, of morality deducible from a study of the nature and natural relations of human beings independent of supernatural revelation or of municipal and social usages. Law of the land, due process of law; the general law of the land. Laws of honor. See under Honor. Laws of motion (Physics), three laws defined by Sir Isaac Newton: (1) Every body perseveres in its state of rest or of moving uniformly in a straight line, except so far as it is made to change that state by external force. (2) Change of motion is proportional to the impressed force, and takes place in the direction in which the force is impressed. (3) Reaction is always equal and opposite to action, that is to say, the actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal and in opposite directions. Marine law, or Maritime law, the law of the sea; a branch of the law merchant relating to the affairs of the sea, such as seamen, ships, shipping, navigation, and the like. --Bouvier. Mariotte's law. See Boyle's law (above). Martial law.See under Martial. Military law, a branch of the general municipal law, consisting of rules ordained for the government of the military force of a state in peace and war, and administered in courts martial. --Kent. --Warren's Blackstone. Moral law, the law of duty as regards what is right and wrong in the sight of God; specifically, the ten commandments given by Moses. See Law, 2. Mosaic law, or Ceremonial law. (Script.) See Law, 3. Municipal law, or Positive law, a rule prescribed by the supreme power of a state, declaring some right, enforcing some duty, or prohibiting some act; -- distinguished from international law and constitutional law. See Law,
Periodic law. (Chem.) See under Periodic.
Roman law, the system of principles and laws found in the codes and treatises of the lawmakers and jurists of ancient Rome, and incorporated more or less into the laws of the several European countries and colonies founded by them. See Civil law (above).
Statute law, the law as stated in statutes or positive enactments of the legislative body.
Sumptuary law. See under Sumptuary.
To go to law, to seek a settlement of any matter by bringing it before the courts of law; to sue or prosecute some one.
To take the law of, or To have the law of, to bring the law to bear upon; as, to take the law of one's neighbor.
Wager of law. See under Wager.
Syn: Justice; equity.
Usage: Law, Statute, Common law, Regulation, Edict, Decree. Law is generic, and, when used with reference to, or in connection with, the other words here considered, denotes whatever is commanded by one who has a right to require obedience. A statute is a particular law drawn out in form, and distinctly enacted and proclaimed. Common law is a rule of action founded on long usage and the decisions of courts of justice. A regulation is a limited and often, temporary law, intended to secure some particular end or object. An edict is a command or law issued by a sovereign, and is peculiar to a despotic government. A decree is a permanent order either of a court or of the executive government. See Justice.
A law is a universal principle that describes the fundamental nature of something, the universal properties and the relationships between things, or a description that purports to explain these principles and relationships.
Law is a set of norms, which can be seen both in a sociological and in a philosophical sense.
Law, LAW, or laws may also refer to:
- Rule of law, the principle that restricts governmental authority
- Law (principle), universal principles that describe the fundamental nature of something
- Law, a Scots language word for a conical hill which rises incongruously from the surrounding landscape
- Blue Bus of North Lanarkshire, Scottish bus company also known as Law of Shotts
Law is a Dark Horse Comics supervillain. He first appeared in Division 13 #1 (1994). He appeared in comics published under both the Comics' Greatest World and Dark Horse Heroes imprints.
Law (stochastic processes)
In mathematics, the law of a stochastic process is the measure that the process induces on the collection of functions from the index set into the state space. The law encodes a lot of information about the process; in the case of a random walk, for example, the law is the probability distribution of the possible trajectories of the walk.
For other bands named Law, see Law (band) (disambiguation)
Law was an American rock band, originating from Ohio, that was active throughout the 1970s. The band is particularly notable for its support by Roger Daltrey of The Who, as well as for its later inclusion of Roy Kenner, formerly of The James Gang, as lead vocalist.
Law (band) (disambiguation)
Law (band) may refer to:
- LAW, a 1970s multi-racial funk / rock band from Ohio featuring Ronnie Lee Cunningham, John McIver, Steve Acker and Tom Poole that recorded on the GRC records label.
- The Law, an English band formed in 1991 featuring Paul Rodgers, Kenney Jones, John Staehely and Pino Palladino
- Law and Order, New York City–based hard rock band 1987–1993 signed to MCA Records
- The Law, a Dundee-based rock band comprising Stuart Purvey, Stevie Anderson, Simon Donald and Martin Donald
Law (Yo Gotti song)
"Law" is a song by American rapper Yo Gotti included on his fifth studio album, '' The Art of Hustle '' (2016), and features American rapper E-40. It was released on March 28, 2016, as the second single from the album. The track was produced by The Mekanics.
Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or by judges through binding precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.
A general distinction can be made between (a) civil law jurisdictions (including Catholic canon law and socialist law), in which the legislature or other central body codifies and consolidates their laws, and (b) common law systems, where judge-made precedent is accepted as binding law. Historically, religious laws played a significant role even in settling of secular matters, which is still the case in some religious communities, particularly Jewish, and some countries, particularly Islamic. Islamic Sharia law is the world's most widely used religious law.
The adjudication of the law is generally divided into two main areas referred to as (i) Criminal law and (ii) Civil law. Criminal law deals with conduct that is considered harmful to social order and in which the guilty party may be imprisoned or fined. Civil law (not to be confused with civil law jurisdictions above) deals with the resolution of lawsuits (disputes) between individuals or organizations.
Law provides a rich source of scholarly inquiry into legal history, philosophy, economic analysis and sociology. Law also raises important and complex issues concerning equality, fairness, and justice. There is an old saying that ' all are equal before the law', although Jonathan Swift argued that 'Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.' In 1894, the author Anatole France said sarcastically, "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread." Writing in 350 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle declared, "The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual." Mikhail Bakunin said: "All law has for its object to confirm and exalt into a system the exploitation of the workers by a ruling class". Cicero said "more law, less justice". Marxist doctrine asserts that law will not be required once the state has withered away. Regardless of one's view of the law, it remains today a completely central institution.
Law is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
- Acie Law IV (born 1985), American basketball player
- Alfred Law (1860–1939), English politician
- Alfred Law (cricketer) (1862–1919), English cricketer
- Alvin Law (born 1960), Canadian motivational speaker
- Andrew Law (disambiguation), several people
- Annie Law (died 1889), conchologist
- Bernard Francis Law (born 1931), former Archbishop of Boston
- Bonar Law (1858–1923), British prime minister
- Brian Law (born 1970), Welsh international footballer
- Evander M. Law (1836–1920), general in the Confederate States Army
- Denis Law (born 1940), Scottish football player
- Derek Law (born 1990), American baseball pitcher
- Don Law (1902–1982), English-born country music record producer and executive
- John Law (disambiguation), several people
- Jude Law (born 1972), English actor
- Peter Law (1948–2006), Welsh politician
- Peter Law (actor) (born 1948), English actor and father of Jude Law
- Phyllida Law (born 1932), Scottish actress
- Rick Law (born 1969), American illustrator
- Robert D. Law (1944–1969), United States Medal of Honor recipient
- Rudy Law (born 1956), American baseball player
- Satya Churn Law (died 1984), Indian educationist
- Tony Law (born 1969), Canadian comedian
- Ty Law (born 1974), American football cornerback
- Vance Law (born 1956), American baseball player and coach
- Vern Law (born 1930), American baseball pitcher
- William Law (1686–1761), British theologian
- William Law (Latter Day Saints) (1809–1892), early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement
n. legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity; "there is a law against kidnapping"
the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order" [syn: jurisprudence]
a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature; "the laws of thermodynamics" [syn: law of nature]
a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society [syn: natural law]
the learned profession that is mastered by graduate study in a law school and that is responsible for the judicial system; "he studied law at Yale" [syn: practice of law]
Etymology 1 n. (lb en uncountable) The body of rules and standards issued by a government, or to be applied by courts and similar authorities. Etymology 2
n. 1 (context obsolete English) a tumulus of stones 2 (qualifier: Scottish and northern dialectal, archaic) a hill Etymology 3
interj. (context dated English) An exclamation of mild surprise; lawks.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
Old English lagu (plural laga, comb. form lah-) "law, ordinance, rule, regulation; district governed by the same laws," from Old Norse *lagu "law," collective plural of lag "layer, measure, stroke," literally "something laid down or fixed," from Proto-Germanic *lagan "put, lay" (see lay (v.)).\n
\nReplaced Old English æ and gesetnes, which had the same sense development as law. Compare also statute, from Latin statuere; German Gesetz "law," from Old High German gisatzida; Lithuanian istatymas, from istatyti "set up, establish." In physics, from 1660s. Law and order have been coupled since 1796.
Usage examples of "law".
But the Americans and their abettors were not content with defensive law.
That during the existing insurrection, and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all rebels and insurgents, their aiders and abettors within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice affording aid and comfort to rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be subject to martial law, and liable to trial and punishment by courts-martial or military commissions.
These Sea Folk were not like the aborigines of Ruwenda, accustomed to obey the laws of the White Lady and freely accepting Kadiya as their leader.
A State statute which forbids bodies of men to associate together as military organizations, or to drill or parade with arms in cities and towns unless authorized by law, does not abridge the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
However, the Supreme Court declined to sustain Congress when, under the guise of enforcing the Fourteenth Amendment by appropriate legislation, it enacted a statute which was not limited to take effect only in case a State should abridge the privileges of United States citizens, but applied no matter how well the State might have performed its duty, and would subject to punishment private individuals who conspired to deprive anyone of the equal protection of the laws.
The laws which excuse, on any occasions, the ignorance of their subjects, confess their own imperfections: the civil jurisprudence, as it was abridged by Justinian, still continued a mysterious science, and a profitable trade, and the innate perplexity of the study was involved in tenfold darkness by the private industry of the practitioners.
This dictum became, two years later, accepted doctrine when the Court invalidated a State law on the ground that it abridged freedom of speech contrary to the due process clause of Amendment XIV.
Here the Court declared that the right of a citizen, resident in one State, to contract in another, to transact any lawful business, or to make a loan of money, in any State other than that in which the citizen resides was a privilege of national citizenship which was abridged by a State income tax law excluding from taxable income interest received on money loaned within the State.
Fourteenth Amendment which secures the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States against abridgment or impairment by the law of a State.
And there were problems with these votes, since the Sem-inole County Canvassing Board had allowed Republican Party volunteers to fill in missing data on absentee-ballot applications completed by registered Republicansa violation of Florida lawand many overseas absentee ballots from members of the armed forces lacked the postmarks required by law.
This created a problem because Florida law clearly requires all overseas absentee ballots to be postmarked by Election Day and received within ten days after the election.
One man had to defend voting absentee at the last minute, without having applied in advance, as the law required.
These fugitives, who fled before the Turkish arms, passed the Tanais and Borysthenes, and boldly advanced into the heart of Poland and Germany, violating the law of nations, and abusing the rights of victory.
Social Democrats have for the most part been treated by the authorities with repressive laws and abusive epithets.
Einstein significantly extended this symmetry by showing that the laws of physics are actually identical for all observers, even if they are undergoing complicated accelerated motion.