American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A rule of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement, or authority.
- n. The body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a political authority; a legal system: international law.
- n. The condition of social order and justice created by adherence to such a system: a breakdown of law and civilized behavior.
- n. A set of rules or principles dealing with a specific area of a legal system: tax law; criminal law.
- n. A piece of enacted legislation.
- n. The system of judicial administration giving effect to the laws of a community: All citizens are equal before the law.
- n. Legal action or proceedings; litigation: submit a dispute to law.
- n. An impromptu or extralegal system of justice substituted for established judicial procedure: frontier law.
- n. An agency or agent responsible for enforcing the law. Often used with the: "The law . . . stormed out of the woods as the vessel was being relieved of her cargo” ( Sid Moody).
- n. Informal A police officer. Often used with the.
- n. The science and study of law; jurisprudence.
- n. Knowledge of law.
- n. The profession of an attorney.
- n. Something, such as an order or a dictum, having absolute or unquestioned authority: The commander's word was law.
- n. The body of principles or precepts held to express the divine will, especially as revealed in the Bible.
- n. The first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures.
- n. A code of principles based on morality, conscience, or nature.
- n. A rule or custom generally established in a particular domain: the unwritten laws of good sportsmanship.
- n. A way of life: the law of the jungle.
- n. A statement describing a relationship observed to be invariable between or among phenomena for all cases in which the specified conditions are met: the law of gravity.
- n. A generalization based on consistent experience or results: the law of supply and demand.
- n. Mathematics A general principle or rule that is assumed or that has been proven to hold between expressions.
- n. A principle of organization, procedure, or technique: the laws of grammar; the laws of visual perspective.
- v. To go to law; litigate.
- idiom. a law unto (oneself) A totally independent operator: An executive who is a law unto herself.
- idiom. take the law into (one's) own hands To mete out justice as one sees fit without due recourse to law enforcement agencies or the courts.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A rule of action prescribed by authority, especially by a sovereign or by the state: as, the laws of Manu; a law of God.
- n. Specifically— Any written or positive rule, or collection of rules, prescribed under the authority of the state or nation, whether by the people in its constitution, as the organic law, or by the legislature in its statute law, or by the treaty-making power, or by municipalities in their ordinances or by-laws.
- n. An act of the supreme legislative body of a state or nation, as distinguished from the constitution: as, the constitution, and the laws made in pursuance thereof.
- n. In a more general sense, the profession or vocation of attorneys, counsellors, solicitors, conveyancers, etc.: as, to practise law.
- n. Litigation: as, to go to law.
- n. Collectively, a system or collection of such rules. Specifically— The principles and regulations of human government in their application to property and conduct; those general rules of external human action which are enforced by a sovereign political authority (Holland); the aggregate of rules set by men as politically superior or sovereign, to men as politically subject (Austin); rules of human conduct prescribed by established usage or custom, or by a constitution adopted by the people, or by statutes or ordinances prescribed by a legislative power, or by regulations of judicial procedure, or recognized and enforced by judicial decision. Modern difference of opinion as to the proper definition of law chiefly results from the fact that writers of the analytic school, proceeding by an analysis of the usual mental conception of law under monarchical government, have commonly defined it as in essence command by a superior to an inferior; and as perhaps the larger part of modern law—such, for instance, as the law of negotiable paper and of contracts generally—does not consist of commands or prohibitions, this definition is supported by the argument that what the sovereign permits he commands, or at least indirectly commands, shall not be prevented. Writers of the historical school, on the other hand, tracing government by law back to its early development, have defined law as essentially consisting of what is judicially ascertained to be usual and regular. In either view it is agreed that a true law in the sense of jurisprudence is one which deals with a class of things, acts or omissions, as distinguished from particular commands and awards. Law, as it actually exists in modern society, is the aggregate or system of rules by which a political community or congeries of communities regulates or professes to regulate the conduct and the rights and powers of its members and its own interference with their freedom; and any rule answering this description is, if authoritatively promulgated, a law. Every new judicial decision, also, is part of the law in the sense that it actually regulates conduct, rights, or powers.
- n. The Mosaic system of rules and ordinances.
- n. Hence— The books of the Bible containing this system; the books of the law.
- n. The preceptive part of the Bible, especially of the New-Testament, in contradistinction to its promises.
- n. A proposition which expresses the constant or regular order of certain phenomena, or the constant mode of action of a force; a general formula or rule to which all things, or all things or phenomena within the limits of a certain class or group, conform, precisely and without exception; a rule to which events really tend to conform. A mere empirical formula which satisfies a series of observations sufficiently, but would not hold in extreme cases, is not considered as a law. A special fact is not a law; but a subordinate principle, as that planets revolve in ellipses, is or is not a law according to the shade of meaning with which that word is used.
- n. One of the rules or principles by which anything is regulated: as, the laws of the turf; the laws of versification.
- n. A rule according to which anything is produced: as, the mathematical law of a curve.
- n. An allowance in distance or time granted to an animal in a chase, or to a weaker competitor in a race or other contest; permission given to one competitor to start a certain distance ahead of, or a certain time before, another, in order to equalize the chances of winning.
- n. Custom; manner.
- n. that the quantity of an electrolyte decomposed in a given time is proportional to the strength of the current;
- n. that the weights of the elements separated are proportional to their chemical equivalents; and.
- n. that the strength of the electrolytic action is the same for cells in any part of the same circuit.
- n. Aryan (Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, etc.).
- n. low German (Gothic, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, English, etc.).
- n. High German (Old High German, Middle High German, New High German). For example, Skt. pitri (pitar) = Gr. patēr = Latin pater = Goth. fadar = OHG. vatar = English father; Skt. tvam = Gr.
τύ= Latin tu = Goth, thu = OHG. du - E. thou; Skt. jānu (for *gānu) = Gr. γόνυ= Latin genu = Goth, kniu = OHG. chniu, chneo = English knee, etc. In the application of Grimm's law numerous in consistencies and anomalies appear, due to interference, conformation, particular position or sequence of sounds, variations of accent, and other causes explained by other philological laws, or remaining in small part occult. The most important of these other laws is Verner's law (which see, below). See also the articles on the separate letters.
- n. The orbits of the planets are ellipses having the sun at one focus.
- n. The areas described by their radiivectores in equal times are equal.
- n. The squares of their periodic times are proportional to the cubes of their mean distances from the sun.
- n. At any junction-point in a network of conductors the sum of all the currents which flow toward the junction is equal to the sum of all the currents which flow away from the junction (called the condition of continuity).
- n. In any complete electric circuit the sum of the electromotive forces, reckoned in order round the circuit, is equal to the sum of the products of the current through and the resistance of each conductor forming the circuit.
- n. The established law of a country.
- n. More specifically, a law relating directly to the raising of the income of the government, as distinguished from one incidentally imposing fees, etc.
- n. Synonyms Right, Equity, etc. (see justice); Law, Common Law, Statute, Enactment, Edict, Decree, Ordinance, Regulation, Canon. Law is the generic word, covering not only what is commanded by competent authority, but modes of action and orders of sequence: as, the Salic law; a law of rhetoric or logic; a law of nature; a law of character. Common law is that rule of action which has grown up from old usage and the decisions of judges. Statutes and enactments are laws made by legislative bodies; the slight difference between them is implied in their derivations. Edicts and decrees, on the other hand, are not legislative, but personal or executive acts, an edict being generally the command of a sovereign, and especially of an autocrat, while a decree is generally the order of an executive body or a court. Ordinance is very broad in its use, being applied to statutes (especially those of great importance: as, the ordinance of 1787), to decrees, to the local laws passed by city governments, etc. A regulation is a limited, subordinate, or temporary law or rule, perhaps applying to details of management or behavior, and often without expressed penalty for violation: as, army regulations; the regulations in a constitution. Canon is in this connection strictly an ecclesiastical term.
- To make a law; ordain.
- To apply the law to; enforce the law against.
- To give law to; regulate; determine.
- In old English forest usage, to cut off the claws and balls of the fore feet of (a dog); mutilate the feet of, as a dog; expeditate.
- To go to law; litigate.
- To Study law.
- An obsolete or dialectal (Scotch) form of low.
- n. A dialectal form of low.
- A variation of la, or often of lord. Also laws.
- n. In acoustics, the law that “any vibrational motion of the air in the entrance to the ear, corresponding to a musical tone, may be always, and for each case only in a single way, exhibited as the sum of a number of simple vibrational motions, corresponding to the partials of this musical tone.”
- n. Same as Kelvin's law.
- n. obsolete a tumulus of stones
- n. archaic a hill
- interj. dated An exclamation of mild surprise; lawks.
- n. uncountable The body of rules and standards issued by a government, or to be applied by courts and similar authorities.
- n. A particular such rule.
- n. more generally A written or understood rule that concerns behaviours and the appropriate consequences thereof. Laws are usually associated with mores.
- n. sciences A well-established, observed physical characteristic or behavior of nature. The word is used to simply identify "what happens," without implying any explanatory mechanism or causation. Compare to theory.
- n. mathematics A statement that is true under specified conditions.
- n. A category of English "common law" petitions that request monetary relief, as opposed to relief in forms other than a monetary judgment; compare to "equity".
- n. cricket One of the official rules of cricket as codified by the MCC.
- n. slang, uncountable The police.
- n. fantasy One of the two metaphysical forces of the world in some fantasy settings, as opposed to chaos.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. 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.
- n. 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.
- n. The Jewish or Mosaic code, and that part of Scripture where it is written, in distinction from the
gospel; hence, also, the Old Testament. the first five books of the bible, called also Torah, Pentatech, or Law of Moses.
- n. An organic rule, as a constitution or charter, establishing and defining the conditions of the existence of a state or other organized community.
- n. Any edict, decree, order, ordinance, statute, resolution, judicial, decision, usage, etc., or recognized, and enforced, by the controlling authority.
- n. 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
- n. 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.
- n. In arts, works, games, etc.: The rules of construction, or of procedure, conforming to the conditions of success; a principle, maxim; or usage.
- n. 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
- n. Legal science; jurisprudence; the principles of equity; applied justice.
- n. Trial by the laws of the land; judicial remedy; litigation.
- n. obsolete An oath, as in the presence of a court.
- v. obsolete Same as lawe, v. t.
- interj. Archaic or Low An exclamation of mild surprise.
- n. the force of policemen and officers
- n. the branch of philosophy concerned with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions they do
- n. a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature
- n. the collection of rules imposed by authority
- n. a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society
- n. the learned profession that is mastered by graduate study in a law school and that is responsible for the judicial system
- n. legal document setting forth rules governing a particular kind of activity
- From Middle English lawe, laȝe, from Old English lagu ("law"), from Old Norse *lagu, an early plural form of lag, lǫg ("layer, stratum, a laying in order, measure, stroke, law", literally "something laid down or fixed"), from Proto-Germanic *lagan (“that which is laid down”), from Proto-Indo-European *legh- (“to lie”). Cognate with Icelandic lög ("things laid down, law"), Swedish lag ("law"), Danish lov ("law"). Replaced Old English ǣ and gesetnes. More at lay. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English lagu, from Old Norse *lagu, variant of lag, that which is laid down. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I just really hate it when people twist what the state of the law is, or make extreme claims with colorful language about what is a fairly unexceptional case *under current law*.”
“It is this feature of the natural law that justifies, on Aquinas's view, our calling the natural law ˜law.™”
“This involves at least two separate claims: In one sense, it can be understood as a thesis about the concept of law, maintaining that what we call ˜law™ can only be those norms which are backed by sanctions of the political sovereign.”
“Considering that the current law and society does not recognize this as legally actionable, I think restore may be a small step in the direction of accountability, *but only if it is applied only to those cases that absolutely cannot be prosecuted under current criminal law* I am not refering to provability here, but to whether an alleged act meets the current legal definition of rape.”
“(TOH-ruh, TAWR-uh, TOY-ruh) The law on which Judaism is founded (torah is Hebrew for law).”
“At first, I did not grant that he had, strictly speaking, given us a new law, and quoted the words of John, that "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ;" but when I afterwards saw that by "_a new law_," they meant merely the gospel, or the New Testament, I answered in the affirmative.”
“Before the objector can make out his case, that the life of the slave is protected by the law, he must not only show that the _words of the law_ grant him such protection, but that such a state of public sentiment exists as will carry out the provisions of the law in their true spirit.”
“I do not say, however, that there is no good woman at all, but the species is rare; and hence an old law says that no _law concerning good women_ should be made, for that laws are to be made concerning things of usual occurrence, as it is written in _Auth. sinc prohib_., etc., _quia vero_ and L. _Nam ad ca_, Dig.”
“As _publication_ is essential to the binding power of a law, in fact to its existence _as law_, you will of course defeat your persecutors, and put them to shame, on the principle of _ex post facto_.”
“I am not of course, speaking now of that species of slander against which the law of libel provides a remedy, but of that of which the Gospel alone takes cognisance; for the worst injuries which man can do to man, are precisely those which are too delicate for _law_ to deal with.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘law’.
With the exception of abbreviations and mosaic words all types of words (proper names, past tense of verbs, etc.) are allowed.
US Congress/Senate + Westminster + European Parliament usage
Protagonists and relevant words in the Book of Creation (Source: King James Bible)
Words in the Bible evoking biblical stories or with special spiritual meaning. Proper names have been reduced to the minimum.
Legal glossary with special focus on courtroom vocabulary
Positive words and vague promises. THE words and expressions to use when you want to win over the masses or just don't know what to say.
"CAPITAL" stands for the administrative capital...
All words of the Lisbon Treaty
(Persons' names, foreign and grammatical words have been eliminated, MWEs have been split up into individual words. Capitalization has been retained if r...
A list of English words that are three letters long.
Words from the names of various dictionaries.
The 100 most frequent constituents of EU collocations. People working for the EU are able to complete any of these words to a multiple-word expression with ease. Try it out if you are one! For a gr...
Mathematical metaphors in political discourse
Looking for tweets for law.