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noun \ˈlȯ\

Simple Definition of law

  • : the whole system or set of rules made by the government of a town, state, country, etc.

  • : a particular kind of law

  • : a rule made by the government of a town, state, country, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of law

  1. 1 a (1) :  a binding custom or practice of a community :  a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority (2) :  the whole body of such customs, practices, or rules (3) :  common law b (1) :  the control brought about by the existence or enforcement of such law (2) :  the action of laws considered as a means of redressing wrongs; also :  litigation (3) :  the agency of or an agent of established law c :  a rule or order that it is advisable or obligatory to observe d :  something compatible with or enforceable by established law e :  control, authority

  2. 2 a often capitalized :  the revelation of the will of God set forth in the Old Testament b capitalized :  the first part of the Jewish scriptures :  pentateuch, torah — see bible table

  3. 3 :  a rule of construction or procedure <the laws of poetry>

  4. 4 :  the whole body of laws relating to one subject

  5. 5 a :  the legal profession b :  law as a department of knowledge :  jurisprudence c :  legal knowledge

  6. 6 a :  a statement of an order or relation of phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the given conditions b :  a general relation proved or assumed to hold between mathematical or logical expressions

at law
  1. :  under or within the provisions of the law <enforceable at law>

Examples of law in a sentence

  1. The courts exist to uphold, interpret, and apply the law.

  2. a lawyer who specializes in criminal law

  3. In our civics class we learned how a bill becomes a law.

  4. She has proposed a new law to protect people from being evicted unfairly.

  5. Schools are required by law to provide a safe learning environment.

  6. The bill will become law at the beginning of the year.

  7. He's been in and out of trouble with the law for the last 10 years.

Origin of law

Middle English, from Old English lagu, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse lǫg law; akin to Old English licgan to lie — more at lie

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of law

law, rule, regulation, precept, statute, ordinance, canon mean a principle governing action or procedure. law implies imposition by a sovereign authority and the obligation of obedience on the part of all subject to that authority <obey the law>. rule applies to more restricted or specific situations <the rules of the game>. regulation implies prescription by authority in order to control an organization or system <regulations affecting nuclear power plants>. precept commonly suggests something advisory and not obligatory communicated typically through teaching <the precepts of effective writing>. statute implies a law enacted by a legislative body <a statute requiring the use of seat belts>. ordinance applies to an order governing some detail of procedure or conduct enforced by a limited authority such as a municipality <a city ordinance>. canon suggests in nonreligious use a principle or rule of behavior or procedure commonly accepted as a valid guide <the canons of good taste>.

synonyms see in addition hypothesis

Rhymes with law




Definition of law

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  litigate

  3. transitive verb
  4. chiefly dialect :  to sue or prosecute at law

Circa 1550

First Known Use of law

circa 1550


biographical name \ˈlȯ\

Definition of Law

  1. (Andrew) Bon*ar play \ˈbä-nər\ 1858–1923 British (Canad.-born) statesman


biographical name

Definition of Law

  1. Edward 1750–1818 1st Baron El*len*bor*ough play \ˈe-lən-ˌbər-ə, -ˌbə-rə, -brə\ Eng. jurist


biographical name

Definition of Law

  1. John 1671–1729 Scot. financier & speculator


biographical name

Definition of Law

  1. William 1686–1761 Eng. writer

LAW Defined for Kids


noun \ˈlȯ\

Definition of law for Students

  1. 1 :  a rule of conduct or action that a nation or a group of people agrees to follow

  2. 2 :  a whole collection of established rules <the law of the land>

  3. 3 :  a rule or principle that always works the same way under the same conditions <the law of gravity>

  4. 4 :  a bill passed by a legislature

  5. 5 :  2police 1

  6. 6 :  the profession of a lawyer

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈlȯ\

Medical Definition of law

  1. :  a statement of order or relation holding for certain phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the given conditions

Law Dictionary


noun \ˈlȯ\

Legal Definition of law

  1. 1 :  a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority: as a :  a command or provision enacted by a legislature — see also statute 1 b :  something (as a judicial decision) authoritatively accorded binding or controlling effect in the administration of justice <that case is no longer the law of this circuit>

  2. 2a :  a body of laws <the law of a state>; broadly :  laws and justice considered as a general and established entity <the law looks with disfavor on restraints on alienation> b :  common law — compare equity 2

  3. 3a :  the control or authority of the law <maintain law and order> b :  one or more agents or agencies involved in enforcing laws c :  the application of a law or laws as distinct from considerations of fact <an error of law> — see also issue of law at issue, matter of law at matter, question of law at question 2

  4. 4 :  the whole body of laws and doctrines relating to one subject <contract law> <the law of attractive nuisance>

  5. 5a :  the legal profession <practice law> b :  the nature, use, and effects of laws and legal systems as an area of knowledge or society <the politics of law> — compare jurisprudence

at law
  1. :  under or within the provisions of the law especially as opposed to equity <a remedy at law>

Origin of law

Old English lagu, of Scandinavian origin

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