from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A body of principles that are considered to be inherent in nature and have universal application in determining whether human conduct is right or wrong, often contrasted with positive law.

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

  • noun philosophy An ethical theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by nature and that therefore has validity everywhere.

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

  • noun a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society


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  • See also nonsense on stilts.

    September 11, 2008

  • "A body of law or a specific principle of law that is held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society in the absence of or in addition to positive law.

    "While natural law, based on a notion of timeless order, does not receive as much credence as it did formerly, it was an important influence on the enumeration of natural rights by Thomas Jefferson and others."

    July 1, 2009