by·​law | \ ˈbī-ˌlȯ How to pronounce bylaw (audio) \
variants: or less commonly byelaw

Definition of bylaw

1 : a rule adopted by an organization chiefly for the government of its members and the regulation of its affairs
2 : a local ordinance

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Examples of bylaw in a Sentence

the club's bylaws bar any member whose annual dues remain unpaid from voting in the election
Recent Examples on the Web After a five-member committee that included Burrows made a recommendation, the GOP caucus changed its bylaws to require its members to vote on a speaker weeks before the session starts. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Rep. Dustin Burrows, embarrassed in ‘target list’ incident, resigns as Texas House GOP caucus chief," 16 Aug. 2019 Homeowners association eligibility standards are usually found in bylaws but also can be found sometimes in the election rules. Kelly G. Richardson,, "HOA Homefront: Are board members required to own and live onsite?," 9 June 2018 These bylaws would develop, implement and operate long-term recreation plans that are sustainable and accessible to the community. John Benson, cleveland, "Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township close to creating joint recreation district," 13 Dec. 2019 The commission’s bylaws don’t specify consequences for potential violations, so whether Raju or Gray will face any consequences remains unclear. Dominic Fracassa,, "Public defender scrubs ethics commissioner endorsement from campaign website," 22 Oct. 2019 One of the committee's first tasks will be to establish bylaws. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, "Nominee round ends for Little Rock district committee," 8 Dec. 2019 The faction supporting Worley passed different bylaws and voted on Nov. 16 to re-elect Worley. Mike Cason |, al, "Judge punts on decision in Alabama Democratic Party case," 5 Dec. 2019 The driver was charged with operating under the influence of drugs, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stay within marked lanes, failure to stop for a school bus, and a bylaw violation for an open container of marijuana, police said., "An allegedly impaired driver was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Walpole after slamming head-on into another car while trying to pass a stopped school bus that was unloading children, police said.," 27 Nov. 2019 Professional Properties Management says that according to its bylaws, the family needed prior approval before installing the flagpole, something Kendra had not done. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, "She lost her son in a shooting. Now her homeowners association wants her to move his remembrance flag," 17 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of bylaw

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bylaw

Middle English bilawe, probably from Old Norse *bȳlǫg, from Old Norse bȳr town + lag-, lǫg law

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Time Traveler for bylaw

Time Traveler

The first known use of bylaw was in the 14th century

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Statistics for bylaw

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bylaw.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bylaw


How to pronounce bylaw (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bylaw

US : a rule that an organization (such as a club or company) makes and that its members must follow
: a law or regulation that is made by a local government and that applies only to the local area


by·​law | \ ˈbī-ˌlȯ \

Legal Definition of bylaw

1 : a rule adopted by an organization chiefly for the government of its members and the management of its affairs
2 : a local ordinance often used in pl.

History and Etymology for bylaw

Middle English bilage, bilawe local law, probably ultimately from Old Norse bȳr town + lǫg law

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More from Merriam-Webster on bylaw

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bylaw

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bylaw

Spanish Central: Translation of bylaw

Nglish: Translation of bylaw for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bylaw for Arabic Speakers

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