blue law


Definition of blue law 

1 : one of numerous extremely rigorous laws designed to regulate morals and conduct in colonial New England

2 : a statute regulating work, commerce, and amusements on Sundays

Examples of blue law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

An effort to allow Sunday alcohol sales stalled for years, and a generation of rural politicians worried that easing Georgia’s strict blue laws would alienate religious voters. Greg Bluestein, ajc, "A watershed moment in the evolution of booze and GOP politics in Georgia," 5 Sep. 2017 On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that allows restaurants and bars to start serving alcohol at 10 a.m. on Sundays, easing restrictions set by 80-year-old blue laws. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "New Yorkers Can Now Order a Drink on Sunday Morning," 9 Sep. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blue law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of blue law

1755, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about blue law

Statistics for blue law

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for blue law

The first known use of blue law was in 1755

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for blue law

blue law


English Language Learners Definition of blue law

: an old law that forbids people from doing certain things (such as working or selling alcohol) on Sundays

blue law


Legal Definition of blue law 

: a statute regulating work, commerce, and amusements on Sunday

Note: Existing blue laws derive from the numerous extremely rigorous laws designed to regulate morals and conduct that were enacted in colonial New England.

History and Etymology for blue law

blue puritanical

More from Merriam-Webster on blue law

See words that rhyme with blue law Encyclopedia article about blue law

Comments on blue law

What made you want to look up blue law? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!