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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


a court of law
▪ You may be asked to give evidence before a court of law.
a history/chemistry/law etc degree
▪ I decided to do a Maths degree.
a law/accounting/advertising etc firm
▪ She was offered a job with a law firm.
a law/medical/chemistry etc student
▪ Approximately 40% of law students are women.
against the law (=illegal)
▪ The use of certain drugs is against the law.
an act becomes law
▪ In the 40 years since the Abortion Act became law there have been repeated attempts to amend or repeal it.
antitrust laws
▪ new tougher antitrust laws
blue law
brush with the law
▪ His first brush with the law came when he was 16.
canon law
case law
civil law
common law
company law
court of law
criminal law
▪ I’m more interested in criminal law than civil law.
criminal law
▪ There was not enough evidence to bring a prosecution under criminal law.
enforce a law
▪ He wants the police to enforce the law and arrest the men.
ex post facto law
fall foul of the law
▪ He is worried that his teenage kids will fall foul of the law.
impose/declare martial law
▪ The government may declare martial law in response to the latest violence in the region.
in accordance
▪ Article 47 may only be used in accordance with international law.
law court
law enforcement agent
law enforcement
law enforcement
law enforcement
▪ law enforcement agencies
law firm
law of supply and demand
▪ the law of supply and demand
law school
laws/rules dictate sth
▪ Federal laws dictate how land can be used.
libel laws
▪ restrictions on press freedom, such as libel laws
licensing laws
martial law
▪ The government may declare martial law in response to the latest violence in the region.
martial law...lifted (=ended)
▪ In May, martial law was lifted in most areas.
Murphy's law
obey the law/rules
▪ She’s the sort of person who always obeys the rules.
Parkinson’s law
pass a law/bill/act
▪ The first Transport Act was passed in 1907.
private law
prosecute sb under a law/Act etc
▪ The company is to be prosecuted under the Health and Safety Act.
Roman law
Sod’s law
▪ It’s Sod’s law that the car breaks down when you need it most.
statute law
study law/business/history etc (=study a subject at a school or university)
▪ Anna is studying French literature.
the laws/forces of nature
▪ The inhabitants of the island fight a constant battle against the forces of nature.
the long arm of the law
▪ He won’t escape the long arm of the law.
▪ At civil law, in fact, he has no right in personam either.
▪ Federal officials began to violate the civil rights laws in addition to refusing to enforce them.
▪ The civil law position is less problematical.
▪ Furthermore, Days noted that technicalities in the criminal civil rights laws made conviction difficult.
▪ There is a basic distinction in the laws of this country between the criminal and the civil law.
▪ The council is finishing work on a civil service law.
▪ Since nodding can be described only as a formless act, clearly the civil law had no interest in it.
▪ Normal practice in civil law countries is very different.
▪ This violates such deep-seated feelings of justice that it has proved to be unacceptable under any criminal law jurisdiction.
▪ None of the committee members in these crucial years specialized in criminal law or family law.
▪ Juxtaposing criminal law and legal theory offers a number of intellectual enquiries.
▪ In criminal law, heat of passion refers to a violent and uncontrollable rage.
▪ It was argued in Chapter 2 that the criminal law ought to spread its net wider where the potential harm is greater.
▪ In this chapter I want to examine what is known about criminal justice and law enforcement as they affect women.
▪ Further, the current mode and role of criminal law teaching has consequences for legal education in general.
▪ Campaigners say his case reveals the unhealthy power that big busi ness holds over the federal law makers.
▪ A federal law spells out the penalties for missing the deadline to cut air pollution.
▪ We are now circulating petitions calling for a federal law to ban handguns.
▪ The federal government will give California a $ 3. 7 billion block grant for welfare under the new federal law.
▪ The attorney general responded that an indictment under federal law could be invoked only when a federally protected right was violated.
▪ This is obviously a case that should not have been tried under federal law in the first place.
▪ It also alleges violations of state and federal antitrust laws and public nuisance laws.
▪ The Administration argues that federal law and prison policy conform to this approach for the most part.
▪ This was to ensure by international law that children everywhere would be covered for all their needs.
▪ The United States sees intellectual property rights as sacred, said Thomas Klitgaard, an attorney specializing in international law.
▪ The range and quality of Jenks's contribution placed him among the foremost writers on international law of his generation.
▪ Diplomats say that immunity should not be used to avoid culpability, but it has had a meaningful place in international law.
▪ What is needed is an acceptance of our responsibilities under international law.
▪ It must pursue policies in both its judicial and executive branches that uphold an international rule of law.
▪ Yet international law, not some quirk of humanity, requires that under certain circumstances it must be done.
▪ Such a situation is one which allows other countries to put aside international law and act according to their own judgments.
▪ These firms know what the local law is, and could filter some Internet content as demanded by it.
▪ The school security specialists also want local law enforcement officials and school administrators to improve their cooperation to stem the violence.
▪ In general local law societies disagreed with the question, although they found it difficult to reach a consensus on the issue.
▪ The rulings were created and administered by the local law society which represents all interested professional parties.
▪ The laws vary from country to country; overseas readers should check local laws.
▪ There was considerable support for the latter suggestion from private practitioners in all types of firm and from local law societies.
▪ In the main, local law societies answered the question negatively, or simply stated that it was a matter for the lender.
▪ But local law society activities can go beyond serving the interests of their members and other lawyers.
▪ Qiao Shi, the intelligence chief who had abstained in the martial law vote earlier, endorsed an immediate army crackdown.
▪ Troops were deployed in Kwangju at midnight on May 17, just as Chun was declaring nationwide martial law.
▪ In mid-1990, martial law was formally lifted but the security clamp down remains currently in force.
▪ You and your men will be under martial law henceforth.
▪ Bhutto's relations with the Army deteriorated after her refusal to impose martial law in Sind under Article 245 of the Constitution.
▪ Subsequently, Stoneham declared martial law, brought in all available troops, and suppressed the disorder.
▪ It was the biggest demonstration since the lifting of martial law in 1988, and was estimated by police to number 10,000.
▪ A slim majority of 52 percent said martial law harmed the country, while 43 percent said dictatorship brought benefits.
▪ However, the natural law governing committees soon took hold and progress was glacially slow.
▪ Law was no longer conceived of as an eternal set of principles expressed in custom and derived from natural law.
▪ What inversion of values makes us to look upon such aberrations as though they were a reflection of natural laws?
▪ Smith propounded natural laws behind the new reality.
▪ Musical form is no exception to this natural law.
▪ Once these causes are discovered we no longer have a miracle, but natural law...
▪ It is also conceivable that there are still natural laws which are still to be discovered and named.
▪ The physicist's problem is the problem of ultimate origins and ultimate natural laws.
▪ It seems to be that there will be two consequences of the new law.
▪ A new state law says they have to figure out a way to recycle it.
▪ In that year a new law was passed to make divorce easier and simpler.
▪ The federal government will give California a $ 3. 7 billion block grant for welfare under the new federal law.
▪ Friends of the Earth is urging local authorities to use the new laws as a means of prosecuting polluting dump sites.
▪ The effect of the new law on high-rise and condominium dwellers is less clear, pending federal action expected later this year.
▪ Nor has it dealt with the question of a new citizenship law, though the Solingen atrocity has revived debate about this.
▪ Under a new federal immigration law, non-citizens who vote are ineligible for naturalization and can be deported.
▪ More important for most purposes of private law than citizenship is domicile.
▪ There is no private law firm where the defeated candidates can retire.
▪ The essence of a private law employment relationship is a mutual obligation to engage in an economic exchange of labour in return for remuneration.
▪ Instead we have to give it to a private law firm known for its political clout.
▪ The first, the Digest, was the classical Roman private law of the jurists.
▪ Rather we should begin by asking why we have a distinction between public and private law.
▪ The question of whether, as a matter of private law, individual solicitors were entitled to a pay-out, was irrelevant.
▪ The trouble is that the public backs the law but not the means to make it work.
▪ It was established by a public law signed by the President in August 1987.
▪ Functionalism in public law views this apparatus of government as serving to promote a distinct set of purposes.
▪ All persons engaged in public administration serve in a special legal relationship whereby the public law institution is the employer.
▪ Its state legislators refused to adopt public accommodations laws for their counties.
▪ These are essentially public law functions.
▪ The basic objective of these writers was to project an image of public law.
▪ There were some striking continuities in terms of the survival of Roman law and custom and language.
▪ Formulary procedure was the classical procedure of Roman law.
▪ Most of the wordings initially used for trusts in Roman law are words that could be described as precatory.
▪ The discovery that Roman law had anticipated the position in modern equity is of great interest.
▪ The Roman law system is historically the most important and influential of all the historic legal systems.
▪ In comparison, Roman law had shown itself flexible and responsive to the interests of creditors.
▪ The first, the Digest, was the classical Roman private law of the jurists.
▪ The roots of the law of confidence lie in equity and it is almost entirely case law.
▪ Because the Internet is new, there is little relevant case law in this area.
▪ My own views as to the proper limits of jurisdictional control will be spelt out after a consideration of the case law.
▪ I said the case law could change and we would get nothing.
▪ This has less support in the case law than the previous two tests.
▪ After a consideration of the theories, the case law from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will be examined.
▪ Relevant well-established civil court case law is based on the general provisions of the Civil Code relating to the conclusion of contracts.
▪ Would it seek merely to codify the existing case law or to reform on the existing case law?
▪ The reason can perhaps be found in the fact that company law as an academic discipline boasts no long and distinguished pedigree.
▪ Until recently company law, with its relative freedom from stringent regulations, reflected this national belief.
▪ Yet company law doctrine has failed to acknowledge this.
▪ This point can perhaps also be illustrated by some of the recent legislative reforms of company law.
▪ Rather, the focus on shareholder interests results from a private conception of the company and company law.
▪ It is therefore not unlikely that before long Parliament may abolish the ultravires rule in company law altogether.
▪ The law courts are venal and can take decades to decide a case.
▪ Demonstrators taking part in a sit-in in front of the law courts were beaten up by police.
▪ The law courts are also having a field day.
▪ It was in this period too that a club's control over a player was first challenged in the law courts.
▪ People preferred the more formalized and anonymous procedures of the law courts.
▪ It has law courts, government offices and a university.
▪ After successive delays, aided by the law courts, the new deadline for payment is Thursday.
▪ The law courts, with their outside staircase, are also impressive.
▪ Neither case was an edifying example of law enforcement.
▪ But as more information emerged, law enforcement officials began dampening speculation that the incident was connected to the abortion controversy.
▪ The Home Office said that it had received representations from law enforcement agencies.
▪ It sent a message to law enforcement officers: Open season on immigrants.
▪ Breaking the cycle Soon, Gwinn was explaining the San Diego strategy to law enforcement officials in other states.
▪ In response, President Fillmore issued a proclamation asking citizens to cease interfering with law enforcement officers.
▪ Accornero, a 24-year law enforcement veteran, was appointed chief in 1994.
▪ In retrospect, this represented both an opportunity and threat to law firms.
▪ Sacks, a Boston intellectual-property law firm.
▪ The historic deal, hammered out with the 60 law firms representing the Castano case, is intriguing.
▪ Hillary Clinton was questioned about the mysterious appearance of her law firm billing records.
▪ Federated spokeswoman Carol Sanger Tuesday confirmed that the company has retained a law firm but declined to say for what purpose.
▪ Burling, law firm, Washington, $ 33, 200.
▪ These immigration laws established two important principles of future immigration policy.
▪ The federal government has sole responsibility to enforce immigration laws, including the prevention of illegal entries into the United States.
▪ It is the racism written into, and demanded by, Britain's immigration laws.
▪ Even some misdemeanor offenses, if they draw maximum one-year sentences, can now be deemed aggravated felonies under federal immigration law.
▪ For the first time, the order will put companies that violate immigration law at risk of losing their federal contracts.
▪ Although she was for tough immigration laws, she was fundamentally concerned about the civil rights of immigrants and citizens...
▪ The basis for the rejection was the section of the immigration laws barring people affiliated with the Communist Party.
▪ And he has been negotiating with the Congress over the budget and our immigration laws.
▪ Though he entered law school, Kelly was teaching dance a few months later.
▪ He was then only twenty-one, a callow aristocrat fresh from law school.
▪ Procaccia, the law school dean, believes the intent of the compensation bill is to save money.
▪ He was a young lawyer, just out of law school.
▪ He says he does a little bit of everything here, and always has in his law school jobs.
▪ Sharif was educated at a college and law school in his home town.
▪ Indeed, they are going to law school, too.
▪ Mr Hibberd refused, citing state laws that allow a journalist to protect a source.
▪ What if state law requires a daily flag salute?
▪ Some state laws specifically provide that tenured teachers can be dismissed for economic reasons.
▪ In both types of cases, there were technical violations of state law.
▪ Texas state law does not allow for the substitution of an independent candidate once he has won a spot on the ballot.
▪ The use of such meat by-products as heart meat, tongue meat, and tripe is permitted unless prohibited by state law.
▪ The saguaro is a protected plant under state law.
▪ California law allows residents to carry the spray, and city officials said state law would take precedence.
▪ And Green had developed a passion for a university law student he met at work in Salford, Greater Manchester.
▪ Well, consider an instant poll of a class of first-year law students, asked Tuesday who they wanted for their dean.
▪ In Iasi, a provincial city in the north-east of the country, more than 70 lawyers and law students attended.
▪ And then I became the observer of law students in and out of our home.
▪ Six years before, she had shocked her family and class by marrying a destitute Berkeley law student.
▪ And the law students themselves created a fellowship fund to support recent graduates for one year following graduation in a public-interest organization.
▪ We support whenever we can the interests of museums, both with respect to the tax laws and otherwise.
▪ The tax laws prohibit you from trying to recover from your employees taxes that you were required to pay on their behalf.
▪ Officials are already concerned he does not spend enough time there to qualify for the 12 percent tax laws.
▪ Actually, 1995 was the lowest year for California tax law changes that I can remember.
▪ The 12 also chipped away at one of the other stumbling blocks, the need to harmonise tax laws across the Community.
▪ Federal tax law bars use of such funds to further a political agenda.
▪ The tax law provides for a deduction of the fair market value of the work of art.
▪ They help take the guesswork out of tax law by translating convoluted jargon into plain-folks language.
▪ After 1854 appeals to the Supreme Court on matters of law were allowed.
▪ In 1856 the laws were changed to allow two engravers full Academic titles, and another two those of Associates.
▪ Texas state law does not allow for the substitution of an independent candidate once he has won a spot on the ballot.
▪ We see how algebraic laws allow us to give a precise and succinct description of each operator.
▪ The law will allow 750, 000 accounts to be set up.
▪ The law allows enormous scope for interpretation and those who interpret are not friends of ours.
▪ In most states, recently passed laws now allow citizens to carry concealed handguns.
▪ Some significant social policy measures have become law in this way.
▪ What had been a matter of church policy is about to become law.
▪ In Britain the Equal Pay Act became law in 1970.
▪ Elsewhere they dragged their feet until it became clear that the laws were unenforceable.
▪ On average 10-12 Private Members' Bills become law each session.
▪ I become independent of physical laws of food, of shelter, of life.
▪ If the bill became law, manufacturers using chemicals obtained from local species would have to pay a royalty to the state.
▪ A bill to let workers carry health insurance coverage from one employer to another should be a sure bet to become law.
▪ But he claimed they were well aware they were breaking the law and were prepared to face the consequences.
▪ A good union officer must give the sense that if he had to do it, he might break the law.
▪ You won't have broken the law if you do not follow it.
▪ Nobody considers the tax money needed to keep a young man in jail when he drops out and breaks the law.
▪ Anyone who tries to stop them will be breaking the law.
▪ I guessed that you were breaking the law in some way.
▪ Even breaking the law, it was fairly humane.
▪ It does not seek to change physical laws, only to delay them.
▪ The judges ruled that it was the job of Parliament, not the courts, to change the law.
▪ When they change the law Spike and I will marry immediately.
▪ An affronted Legislature has changed the law so that Texas governments can no longer sue those seeking records.
▪ If the federal government is to change the law, it will need to act quickly, while the outrage lasts.
▪ So the judges, once again by their own fiat, simply changed the law.
▪ This probably changes the existing law, making the offence more difficult to prove.
▪ For health insurers in California, the rules distinctly changed with a state law that took effect in July.
▪ He'd heard rumours that the military were planning to declare martial law.
▪ Madison, the Supreme Court has declared 141 federal laws unconstitutional, an average of less than one law every year.
▪ Emergency regulations empowered the government to declare virtual martial law at will.
▪ Troops were deployed in Kwangju at midnight on May 17, just as Chun was declaring nationwide martial law.
▪ To restore order, the government declared martial law.
▪ When a federal district court first heard the case, it declared the federal law unconstitutional.
▪ Subsequently, Stoneham declared martial law, brought in all available troops, and suppressed the disorder.
▪ When the Supreme Court declares a state law unconstitutional, similar statutes in other states are not automatically voided.
▪ We are legally allowed to fight when protecting ourselves, our family, or when enforcing the law itself.
▪ The federal government has sole responsibility to enforce immigration laws, including the prevention of illegal entries into the United States.
▪ Gratuitous promises can not be enforced at law.
▪ He simply notified the attorney general of a threat to the public peace and asked him to enforce federal law.
▪ Greenpeace claim that the Authority is failing in its statutory duty to gather the necessary evidence to enforce the law.
▪ Responsibility can be enforced by strong laws.
▪ It implies that the police fully enforces every law against the citizen.
▪ First, the Universe appears perfectly symmetrical in the ways it enforces its laws.
▪ You can impose any laws and traditions you care to invent.
▪ This structure can neither impose law upon its members nor force one of them to adopt a policy with which it disagrees.
▪ Bhutto's relations with the Army deteriorated after her refusal to impose martial law in Sind under Article 245 of the Constitution.
▪ Unlike past military rulers, General Musharraf has neither imposed martial law nor suppressed fundamental rights.
▪ The duty of care is imposed by law but the standard is a matter of medical practice.
▪ The king says he will impose martial law if anything similar happens again.
▪ Of course consent to obey the law is not a necessary condition of such an attitude.
▪ Our citizens want to obey the law.
▪ Citizens have an obligation to obey law by virtue of the fact that it is made in accordance with established procedures.
▪ I guess it depends on whether you obey traffic laws or not.
▪ Is there a primafacie obligation to obey the law which transcends the limits of the state's authority?
▪ They will always obey the law.
▪ Bodies are substantial, exist in space, obey mechanical laws.
▪ The question of whether this administration is willing to obey the law is too simplistic, we are told.
▪ It was very good to pass a special law for that.
▪ In most states, recently passed laws now allow citizens to carry concealed handguns.
▪ In due course, the government's response was to pass a law and appoint an Alkali Inspector named Angus Smith.
▪ As a result of increased public interest, more than a dozen states have passed laws that prohibit insurers from genetic discrimination.
▪ He made the decisions, he passed the laws.
▪ I see well. meaning legislators across the land passing laws against themselves as if the victim will always be some one else.
▪ The fear is that if they are published, Parliament will pass a law against smearing politicians.
▪ Catholics passed laws against intermarriage between people of the two faiths.
▪ Balancing is required by the law of conservation of matter.
▪ The government is required by law to provide education for all minors, regardless of their circumstances.
▪ Prevention requires laws to be clear, simple and universally supported.
▪ They contend that the commissioner is required by law to enforce the anti-redlining regulation, regardless of personal preference.
▪ His first appearance, an arraignment to enter a plea of guilty or not-guilty, is required by law.
▪ The building is about 60m by 10m, and inside are the lobster tanks that are required by law.
▪ The bags are required by law to inflate in a fraction of a second, fueled by hot gases.
▪ Governor William Donald Schaefer signed the bill into law within hours of its enactment by the House.
▪ Havel signed the law on Oct. 17, but said that he would be seeking amendments to it.
▪ But the two chambers must agree on a final version before Clinton can sign it into law.
▪ President Clinton has promised to sign it into law.
▪ Mike Leavitt has signed into law a bill banning public schools from granting recognition or access to gay or lesbian student groups.
▪ President Clinton signed telecommunications reform into law last month.
▪ President Clinton signed a law last year that requires states to make information on sexually violent criminals available to the public.
▪ In addition, Tesoro said it filed a counterclaim alleging that the shareholders' group has violated securities laws.
▪ Federal officials began to violate the civil rights laws in addition to refusing to enforce them.
▪ A federal court ruled this month that Napster helped users to violate music copyright laws.
▪ Y., consented to permanent injunctions barring them from violating securities laws.
▪ But court records show how poachers violated wildlife laws without fear of punishment in his courtroom.
▪ He was charged with violating national security laws because of his membership in the Secret Association for Independence.
▪ People Open, thriving enterprises do not exclude people in ways that violate fair-hiring laws.
▪ No financial penalties were imposed, but the men were ordered not to violate securities laws in the future.
be subject to a rule/law/penalty/tax etc
get on the wrong side of the law
lay down the law
▪ If Bob starts laying down the law, just tell him to shut up.
▪ Parents need to lay down the law regarding how much TV their children watch.
▪ By eleven o'clock I was standing in front of Patterson's desk laying down the law.
▪ It is unfortunate that Mrs Gardner's thoroughness did not extend to laying down the law about insurance.
▪ MacFarland said I would do well in his class and laid down the law about doing well in the others.
▪ Ron, too, was laying down the law.
▪ She would lay down the laws.
▪ Steadily I disappointed Paquita, who believed it was my job to lay down the law with Clarisa.
▪ They made a move for the piano, but we laid down the law and soon redirected their energy to sightseeing.
▪ Well, there was nothing for it, I had to lay down the law in no uncertain terms.
natural justice/law
▪ At present rules of a legislative nature are not generally subject to natural justice. 2.
▪ But Aristotle did not conceive of natural laws based on mathematical principles.
▪ If he perceives that there is a likelihood of bias, the rules of natural justice have been broken. 2.
▪ It may have failed in the course of the inquiry to comply with the requirements of natural justice.
▪ Lord Denning restricted the full application of the rules of natural justice on the ground of national security.
▪ Some commentators take a different view, seeing a broader significance in the shift from natural justice to fairness.
▪ The injunction is important in public law in the context of the rules of natural justice.
▪ They have always presented a problem for the application of natural justice.
on the wrong/right side of the law
▪ De Niro plays a lawyer, on the right side of the law.
possession is nine-tenths of the law
sign a bill/legislation/agreement into law
storefront church/law office/school etc
▪ In Sanchersville, she opened a storefront law office perforating the heart of the ghetto.
the letter of the law
▪ The builders may have adhered to the letter of the law, but not its spirit.
▪ A month afterwards the teams will be sent out to discover whether retailers are sticking to the letter of the law.
▪ By sticking to the letter of the law, the spirit of the law may be lost.
▪ Some one who did not feel obliged to follow the letter of the law, or the instructions of the judge.
▪ Sticking to the letter of the law v. sticking to its spirit.
▪ The agent counsels them obliquely against waste, repeats the letter of the law, and smiles.
▪ The heart of all this is going beyond the letter of the law with your clients.
the rule of law
▪ However, we are not that much nearer to a world order dominated by a fair application of the rule of law.
▪ In putting this case we should first recollect the third pillar in Dicey's concept of the rule of law.
▪ No one can read the Pentateuch and conclude that justice is just concerned with private property and the rule of law.
▪ This extradition is a victory for all who believe in the rule of law.
▪ Violent picketing also threatened the rule of law.
▪ We have to follow the rule of law.
▪ Andrew is studying law at Harvard University.
▪ Both specific and general laws on child prostitution exist.
▪ By law, an advertiser can't use a person's name for commercial purposes without permission.
▪ FIFA is the organization that runs world football and decides whether any of the laws should be changed.
▪ I didn't realize I was breaking the law.
▪ In 1873 French law was imposed in Vietnam.
▪ It's against the law to be drunk in public.
▪ Japan has very strict laws against guns and drugs.
▪ Refugees are accorded special protection under international law
▪ She practices law in New York.
▪ The law defines drunkenness as a certain percentage of alcohol in the blood.
▪ the law of gravity
▪ the laws of cricket
▪ The current gun laws vary from state to state.
▪ the economic law of supply and demand
▪ The soldiers were brought in to restore law and order after the riots.
▪ This law makes it illegal to smoke in public places.
▪ tough new laws on immigration
▪ Under the new law, anyone who assists in a suicide faces 10 years in prison.
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.]

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. In human government:

    1. An organic rule, as a constitution or charter, establishing and defining the conditions of the existence of a state or other organized community.

    2. Any edict, decree, order, ordinance, statute, resolution, judicial, decision, usage, etc., or recognized, and enforced, by the controlling authority.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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,

    1. 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.


Law (principle)

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 (disambiguation)

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 (comics)

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.

Law (band)

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 (surname)

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


  1. n. legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity; "there is a law against kidnapping"

  2. 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]

  3. a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature; "the laws of thermodynamics" [syn: law of nature]

  4. a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society [syn: natural law]

  5. 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]

  6. the force of policemen and officers; "the law came looking for him" [syn: police, police force, constabulary]

  7. the branch of philosophy concerned with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions they do [syn: jurisprudence, legal philosophy]



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.