American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Strict, literal adherence to the law or to a particular code, as of religion or morality.
- n. A legal word, expression, or rule.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Strict adherence to law or prescription; belief in the efficacy of adhering strictly to the require ments of the law.
- n. Specifically In theology, the doctrine that salvation depends on strict observance of the law, as distinguished from the doctrine of salvation through grace; also, the tendency to observe with great strictness the letter of religious law, rather than its spirit.
- n. A philosophy of focusing on the text of written law to the exclusion of the intent of law, elevating strict adherence to law over justice, mercy, grace and common sense.
- n. A legal axiom; a statement couched as a proverb expressing a rule of law.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Strictness, or the doctrine of strictness, in conforming to law.
- n. strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit
- legal + -ism (Wiktionary)
“One definition of legalism is believing that good works, including dressing modestly, will earn salvation.”
“I've also been called a legalist and accused of thinking myself better than others (the true definition of legalism is believing that I must do certain things in order to be/stayed saved - which I don't, and wearing dresses wouldn't be one of those things!).”
“Another definition of legalism is substituting man-made rules and laws for those written in the Bible.”
“I think the debate about legalism is a bogus smoke screen begun by Satan himself.”
“All of these uses of the word legalism demonstrate common misunderstandings of this concept.”
“Special bonus opaque legalism, which is noted in the question posed below: Some courts in New England states use the phrase “ppa” in case captions; this means “per prochein ami,” or “by next friend.””
“And it is to the genius of Israel that we owe that rigorously logical interpretation of the _axiomata media_ of legalism, which issued in due season in”
“Gays hate Jesus because of fake "christia" n religious legalism, which is not”
“Instead of hardening himself and promoting legalism, which is devoid of soul, Moses encouraged his followers above all to cultivate a religion of the heart.”
“The long skirts did not evoke accusations of "legalism," or "you think you are better than me-ism.”
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