Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A law enacted by a legislature.
  • n. A decree or edict, as of a ruler.
  • n. An established law or rule, as of a corporation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Written law, as laid down by the legislature.
  • n. (Common law) Legislated rule of society which has been given the force of law by those it governs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An act of the legislature of a state or country, declaring, commanding, or prohibiting something; a positive law; the written will of the legislature expressed with all the requisite forms of legislation; -- used in distinction from common law. See Common law, under common, a.
  • n. An act of a corporation or of its founder, intended as a permanent rule or law.
  • n. An assemblage of farming servants (held possibly by statute) for the purpose of being hired; -- called also statute fair.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To ordain; enact; decree or establish.
  • n. An ordinance or law; specifically, a law promulgated in writing by a legislative body; an enactment by a legislature; in the United States, an act of Congress or of a State or Territorial legislature passed and promulgated according to constitutional requirements; in Great Britain, an act of Parliament made by the Sovereign by and with the advice of the Lords and Commons.
  • n. The act of a corporation or of its founder, intended as a permanent rule or law: as, the statutes of a university.
  • n. In foreign and civil law, any particular municipal law or usage, though not resting for its authority on judicial decisions or the practice of nations.
  • n. A statute-fair.
  • n. Same as special statute.
  • n. An English statute of 1571 (13 Eliz., c. 5), reënacted in nearly all of the United States, which declares all conveyances of property with intent to delay, hinder, or defraud creditors to be void as against such creditors.
  • n. An English statute of 1585 (27 Eliz., c. 4) making void all conveyances of land made with intent to deceive purchasers.
  • n. An English statute or ordinance of 1283 (11 Edw. I.) for the collection of debts.
  • n. Another of 1285 (13 Edw. I.) for the same purpose.
  • n. Synonyms Enactment, Ordinance, etc. See law.
  • n. A compilation of all statutes enacted by a legislature during a session or a series of sessions. The United States Statutes at Large run consecutively from March 4, 1789. Session laws, pamphlet laws, public laws, and general public laws are other names for statutes at large.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an act passed by a legislative body
  • adj. enacted by a legislative body

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French estatut, from Late Latin statūtum, from neuter of Latin statūtus, past participle of statuere, to set up, from status, position.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English status, from Old French status, from Late Latin statutum ("a statute"), neuter singular of Latin statutus, past participle of statuere ("to set up, establish"). (Wiktionary)

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