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

  • n. The body of laws of a state or nation dealing with the rights of private citizens.
  • n. The law of ancient Rome as embodied in the Justinian code, especially that which applied to private citizens.
  • n. A system of law having its origin in Roman law, as opposed to common law or canon law.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Roman law based on the Corpus Juris Civilis; it contrasts with common law.
  • n. The body of law dealing with the private relations between members of a community; it contrasts with criminal law, military law and ecclesiastical law.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. See under Law.
  • n. 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.

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

  • n. the body of laws established by a state or nation for its own regulation
  • n. the legal code of ancient Rome; codified under Justinian; the basis for many modern systems of civil law


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • State at that time were re-inforced by his order, and every precaution was taken to prevent resistance to the steps which I deemed absolutely indispensable to the restoration of the civil law and the re-establishment of peace and order.

    Memoirs of W. W. Holden,

  • European civil law jurists regard this rule as unsound and calculated to result in casuistic distinctions in cases where the lower courts should anticipate that the highest court would not itself any longer follow the principle formerly enunciated.


  • Canonists, even, were only rewarded because of their previous knowledge of civil law: at Oxford three years had to be devoted to the study of civil law before a student could be admitted as bachelor of canon law.

    Old English Libraries; The Making, Collection and Use of Books During the Middle Ages

  • It is the basis of all canon law (ecclesia vivit lege romana), and the basis of civil law in every civilized country.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • By the authority given by the law, to-wit, by the Shoffner Act, the Governor had the right that whenever in his judgment it should be done, and he had done it already in both counties, all civil law is suspended, and the writ cannot be enforced.

    Memoirs of W. W. Holden,

  • (For provisions of the civil law regarding this matter, see SEAL OF CONFESSION.)

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 11: New Mexico-Philip

  • In England (but not in Ireland) bequests to what the civil law regards as superstitious uses are void, as, for example, to maintain a priest, or an anniversary or obit, or a lamp in a church, or to say Masses for the testator's soul, or to circulate pamphlets inculcating the pope's supremacy.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 6: Fathers of the Church-Gregory XI

  • A sketch of the Schools quadrangle drawn about 1459 shows this library, libraria nova, above the Canon Law schools, on the west side. 7.7 Between the completion of this library and 1470 the south side of the quadrangle was built, the school of civil law occupying the ground floor, and the Great Library or Common Library the first floor.

    Old English Libraries; The Making, Collection and Use of Books During the Middle Ages

  • Shoffner act was to authorize me to suspend the civil law when in my judgment it was necessary to do so.

    Memoirs of W. W. Holden,

  • By 1275, when another Italian jurist named Francesco d'Accorso, a distinguished teacher at Bologna, came to Oxford to lecture, the study of civil law was pursued with the royal favour. 11.15

    Old English Libraries; The Making, Collection and Use of Books During the Middle Ages


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