from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- 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.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Strictness, or the doctrine of strictness, in conforming to law.
from The 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.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit
legal + -ism (Wiktionary)