from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who practises or inculcates strict adherence to law; specifically, in theology, one who regards conformity to the law as the ground of salvation, or who is rigorous in exacting obedience to the letter of the law.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who practices or advocates strict conformity to law; in theology, one who holds to the law of works. See legal, 2 (a).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One who adheres to legalism.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • 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!).

    18th and 19th Century Country Women

  • I was actually trying to single out Shang Yang from the rest of the 'legalists', and tried to argue that the later legalists probably have mis-understood Shang's spirit and believes. in other words, calling Shang a legalist is a misnomer.

    Misnomer of the legalist Shang Yang, and how to fix the mess in China's legal system

  • He calls the legalist Pharisees white washed tombs and sons of the devil.

    Contend Earnestly

  • There's nothing "legalist" about wanting with all your heart to please and obey the One Who has saved you!

    18th and 19th Century Country Women

  • Evidently Mr Sidgwick/Hazlitt forgot which of his hats - the "legalist" or the "moralist" he was wearing when he inadvertently unmasked himself.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • This should clear up whether they are racist or merely 'legalist'.

    Half Million Rally Against Anti-Foreign Bias, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Incidentally, one of the fascinating differences between O'Neal, who died on Sept. 11, and Scheuer, is that O'Neal was a "legalist" through and through, devoted to building criminal cases that would stand up in court, whereas Scheuer wanted to kill bin Laden regardless of the amount of "collateral damage" that might be generated in deaths of civilians or, in one instance, Arab princes gathered with bin Laden in Afghanistan.


  • American diplomats and international lawyers led the "legalist" movement to construct a legal framework for international politics.

  • MR. KELLY: Yeah, well, I think that there's a whole kind of legalist definition of hostages.

    Trina's Kitchen

  • the liberals have used the 'legalist' tag for ages, it a pretty boring one now..

    Pottering in the kitchen...


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